Policy arguments in a public church: Catholic social ethics and bioethics

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (3):347-364 (1992)

This paper is an analysis of the relationship of social ethics and bioethics in Roman Catholic theology. The argument of the paper is that the character of both Catholic moral theology and ecclesiology shape the broadly defined interest of the church in bioethics. The paper examines the common elements of social ethics and bioethics in Catholic teaching, describes how ecclesiology shapes Catholic public policy and uses the examples of abortion and health care to illustrate the relationship of Catholic social thought and bioethics. In developing the relationship of these two dimensions of Catholic moral argument the article highlights how the appeal to natural law categories differs in social ethics and bioethics and how the two topics are received differently in the theological community. It also seeks to illustrate how the premises of Catholic social ethics remain central to public positions taken on bioethics. Keywords: ecclesiology, moral theology, natural law, social ethics CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/17.3.347
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