Graduation Date

Fall 11-9-2017


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Henk ten Have

Committee Member

Joris Gielen


Ethical Religious Directives, ERDs, Catholic Tradition, Ethics, Normative Approach, Ethical Dilemmas, Medical Technology


The dissertation engages the Catholic Tradition enunciated in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services to provide a normative approach for resolving ethical dilemmas regarding pivotal breakthroughs in medical technology.

This normative ethical approach has two components: a normative framework for Catholic health care ethics that adopts practical ethical principles as enunciated in the Ethical and Religious Directives (Chapter 2) and secular decision-making models in organizational and clinical ethics that are consistent with the Catholic Tradition (Chapter 3).

At the end of the theoretical analysis in these chapters, the conclusion to Chapter 3 explains how this normative approach reflects the Catholic Tradition on Natural Law. This normative approach is then applied to significant ethical dilemmas regarding a variety of pivotal issues that deal with medical technology: reproductive technologies (Chapter 4), regenerative technologies (Chapter 5), and end-of-life technologies (Chapter 6). The conclusion of each of these practical chapters applies the Natural law approach of the Catholic Tradition to offer an ethical critique of each topic based on the Ethical and Religious Directives.