Presenter Information

Noah Dimas - Duquesne University Center for Global Health Ethics

Abstract

At the heart of all Catholic healthcare is the mission and duty to further the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and care for one’s neighbor to uphold human dignity. However, some in Catholic healthcare may not fully know nor understand these foundational Catholic teachings. As such, these healthcare professionals can turn to a simple but rich guide in giving direction to these healthcare professionals, the USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives. This document acts as both a primer and set of guidelines regarding Catholic doctrine, the Catholic moral tradition, and how both inform the Catholic response to common ethical concerns. However, these directives have begun to show their faults, especially in providing explicit directives rather than guiding frameworks. This can be useful when quick, direct guidance is needed. However, it fails at aiding healthcare professionals and ethicists in understanding and further applying Catholic teachings onto healthcare ethics and Catholic healthcare mission. All these concerns, then, are the cornerstones of this essay. First, this essay aims to provide discussion regarding the history and purpose of mission within Catholic healthcare. Second, this essay will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the current edition of the ERDs. Doing this will then give rise to the third and final point this essay aims to explicate, how a new ERD edition can and should be written to align both Catholic healthcare ethics and the current understandings of Catholic healthcare mission with modern understandings of healthcare ethics to provide a more content-full ethical-moral framework.

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Advisor

Gerard Magill, PhD

Submission Type

Paper

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A New Directive: An Ethical Analysis of the Ethical and Religious Directives and Catholic Healthcare Mission to Promote and Sustain Catholic Healthcare

At the heart of all Catholic healthcare is the mission and duty to further the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and care for one’s neighbor to uphold human dignity. However, some in Catholic healthcare may not fully know nor understand these foundational Catholic teachings. As such, these healthcare professionals can turn to a simple but rich guide in giving direction to these healthcare professionals, the USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives. This document acts as both a primer and set of guidelines regarding Catholic doctrine, the Catholic moral tradition, and how both inform the Catholic response to common ethical concerns. However, these directives have begun to show their faults, especially in providing explicit directives rather than guiding frameworks. This can be useful when quick, direct guidance is needed. However, it fails at aiding healthcare professionals and ethicists in understanding and further applying Catholic teachings onto healthcare ethics and Catholic healthcare mission. All these concerns, then, are the cornerstones of this essay. First, this essay aims to provide discussion regarding the history and purpose of mission within Catholic healthcare. Second, this essay will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the current edition of the ERDs. Doing this will then give rise to the third and final point this essay aims to explicate, how a new ERD edition can and should be written to align both Catholic healthcare ethics and the current understandings of Catholic healthcare mission with modern understandings of healthcare ethics to provide a more content-full ethical-moral framework.