Ethics of Health Care

An Introductory Textbook

Third Edition

Benedict M. Ashley, OP, and Kevin D. O'Rourke, OP

"An introductory textbook that is ideal for medical and nursing education. . . . Can also be used as a resource for the ongoing renewal for the Catholic health care ministry."
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In the wake of the successful cloning of animals and the promises—or fears—of stem cell research, new discoveries in science and medicine need more than ever to be accompanied by careful moral reflection. Contending that concern over the ethical dimensions of these and other like issues are no longer just in the domain of those involved in medical practice, the third edition of Ethics of Health Care claims these are vital topics that should matter deeply to all citizens.

While stressing the Catholic tradition in health care ethics, Ethics of Health Care is ecumenical, incorporating a broader Christian tradition as well as humanistic approaches, and takes as common ground for mutual understanding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. This new third edition is a response to the many developments in theology and the startlingly rapid changes in the arenas of medicine and health care over the past decade, from the dominance of managed care to increased surgery on an "outpatient" basis; from hospice care for the dying to the increasing use of drugs in the treatment of mental illness.

Revised and thoroughly up-to-date, this third edition continues with its valuable teaching aids, including case studies, study questions, chapter summaries, a bibliography, and complete index.

Table of Contents


1. Methods in Health Care Ethics

2. The Content of Catholic Health Care Ethics

3. The Person Seeking Health

4. Defining Human Health

5. Personal Responsibility for Health

6. Responsibilities of Health Care Professionals

7. Social Responsibility for Health Care

8. Human Research and the Allocation of Resources

9. Sexuality and Reproduction

10. Reconstructing Human Beings

11. Mental Illness: Medical and Psychiatric Therapies

12. Death and Dying

13. Spiritual Ministry and Health Care


"An introductory textbook that is ideal for medical and nursing education. . . . Can also be used as a resource for the ongoing renewal for the Catholic health care ministry."—Health Progress


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Benedict M. Ashley, OP, a priest of the Dominican Order, Chicago Province, is Emeritus Professor of Moral Theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. He is a senior fellow of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. He has been honored with the medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice conferred by John Paul II and the Thomas Linacre Award from the National Federation of Catholic Physicians' Guilds.

Kevin O'Rourke, OP, is professor emeritus and founder of the Center for Health Care Ethics at the Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center. He is a professor of bioethics at the Neiswanger Institute of Bioethics and Public Policy, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago.

272 pp., 7 x 10

Jul 2002

272 pp., 7 x 10

ISBN: 978-0-87840-375-2
Jul 2002

272 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-906-5
Jul 2002

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