Item description for Making Health Care Decisions: A Catholic Guide by Ron Hamel...
Overview Health care is one of the most important challenges for the 21st century. Scientific advances in medicine have made it very difficult for health care providers, patients, and their families to keep pace with the ethical problems inherited with new procedures. Catholic ethicists must meet the demands of medical research, government regulations, and directives from the Church.
Publishers Description Health care is one of the most important challenges of the 21st-century. Medical advances have made it very difficult for health care providers, patients, and their families to keep pace with the ethical problems inherited with new procedures. Ethicists must meet the demands of medical research, government regulations, and Church directives. Among the issues under discussion are embryonic stem cell research, end-of-life care, organ transplants, genetic engineering, and advance health care directives. "Making Health Care Decisions" is a practical Catholic guide on these issues. It provides an overview of Catholic medical ethics, with references for further reading, discussion questions, and a glossary of medical and ethical terminology. Four topics from this book are also available in booklet form for people with specific needs and questions. Ron Hamel is ethicist at the Catholic Health Association in St. Louis, Missouri. Other contributors include Michael R. Panicola, Mark Miller, Richard C. Sparks, M. Therese Lysaught, Carol Tauer, and Patricia Talone. "Paperback"
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Studio: Liguori Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.36" Width: 5.62" Height: 0.43" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2006
Publisher Liguori Publications
Series Making Health Care Decisions
ISBN 0764814028 ISBN13 9780764814020
Availability 0 units.
More About Ron Hamel
Ron Hamel is ethicist at the Catholic Health Association in St. Louis, Missouri. Other contributors include Michael R. Panicola, Mark Miller, and Richard C. Sparks.
Reviews - What do customers think about Making Health Care Decisions: A Catholic Guide?
helpful and faithful guide Mar 28, 2007
This book, produced under the auspices of The Catholic Health Association of the United States, is subtitled "A Catholic Guide". It certainly is that. It gives reliable guidance to anyone who wants to know the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church in various areas of health care ethics. But the book deserves a much wider audience. Non-Catholic Christians will find this book brilliantly helpful, as will many non-theists.
While the book helpfully expounds on such topics as genetic testing, embryonic stem cell research, and organ transplantation, the most valuable sections of the book for the average reader are probably the ones that deal with making decisions at the end of life, and making decisions about medically administered nutrition and hydration. These chapters, as indeed all the chapters in the book, fully reflect the teachings of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Making Health Care Decisions is essential reading for the Pastoral Care staff of the Catholic hospital at which I serve, and for the members our ethics committee. This easy to read and understand book is a completely faithful guide for Catholics who want to make ethically appropriate health care decisions. It will serve non-Catholic Christians (of which I am one) in the same way.
A mixed work with some deep flaws Jan 15, 2007
This book is a collection of essays, each on a different topic, each by a different author, which makes it hard to make blanket statement about the book, but I can say that the book fails to stay consistently within the bounds of being "A Catholic Guide," as its subtitle suggests.
I was unhappy to see the editor's introduction speak from the proportionalist standpoint that JPII specifically refuted in Veritatis Splendor; the editor says that good ends can sometimes justify evil means, and his basis for saying that some acts cannot ever be chosen is because they are "too evil" to be justified by their ends. This is bad moral theology, and does not bode well for a book on health care decision making.
I was similarly unhappy to see the author on the chapter on artificial hydration and nutrition present an argument that essentially says church teaching on this is a finished topic and that a person can forego nutrition & hydration the same as any other medical treatment. (It would be far more accurate to identify this as an area of ongoing thought and reflection in Church thinking, with the trend being towards the moral obligation to provide nutrition and hydration) I was also irritated by the author's dismissive stance towards several Vatican & US Church documents as well as towards JPII's comments on this as all out of step with with traditional teaching. He essentially says that older Catholic theologians, who were not speaking about current technology of giving fluid and nutrition artificially, trump current theologians that do speak about exactly this issue.
However, some chapters seem on-target and make great points. As I said, it's hard to make a blanket statement. However, I don't like reading with a defensive and distrustful mindset, questioning if what I'm reading is really "Catholic". Given this, I don't recommend this book.