"Health care in the United States is marked by extraordinary change. Not only is there continuing change in clinical practice due to technological advances, but the health care system in the United States is being challenged by both institutional and social factors as well. At the same time, there are a number of developments within the Catholic Church affecting the ecclesial mission of health care. Among these are significant changes in religious orders and congregations, the increased involvement of lay men and women, a heightened awareness of the Church’s social role in the world, and developments in moral theology since the Second Vatican Council. A contemporary understanding of the Catholic health care ministry must take into account the new challenges presented by transitions both in the Church and in American society.
Throughout the centuries, with the aid of other sciences, a body of moral principles has emerged that expresses the Church’s teaching on medical and moral matters and has proven to be pertinent and applicable to the ever-changing circumstances of health care and its delivery."
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, (Washington, D.C.: USCCB Publishing, 2009), 1.
In response to Bishops' aforementioned challenges to our Faith, and in carrying out our charge to care for both the bodies and souls of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we believe that the same "body of moral principles" provide a guide and a rational direction for the National Catholic Bioethics Center's mission to protect and promote a contemporary, moral, and faithful understanding of the practice of health care and the Church's rightful role in assisting and ensuring its ethical administration. This is what we work to protect and uphold.
This is what we do.
The purpose of this blog is to try and create an open and active forum for discussing the issue of morality and ethics in modern medical science. These issues affect us in infinite ways, but they are things that we may not have the time or presence of mind to consider on an average day.
We hope you will take the time to consider them with us here.
We hope that you will visit and read often. We hope you will be, at times, outraged by accounts of the heedless transgressions of human dignity that occur in our world. We also hope to instill hope with each account of positive change the NCBC and the Church effect. We hope to compel you to be instruments of change in your own communities.
We want to take some time here to show you a little bit of who we are and to explain why we feel so strongly about all of this. We want you to understand why Bioethics matter to all of us.
Most of all, we hope you look at these issues in a way you hadn't before. We hope we can teach you something new and help broaden our understanding of these issues.
The National Catholic Bioethics Center