The writers in this volume seek ways in which to cooperate with a wider culture does not necessarily share the moral vision of the Catholic Church. How does one provide health care in cooperation with others who sometimes hold view diametrically opposed to those advanced by the Church and the Western tradition? The book is divided into two sections: policy and application. In the first, several non-negotiable principles are articulated concerning the good of human life, the importance of the Catholic health care ministry, and the role of religious liberty in public life. Wesley J. Smith, the noted bioethicist and commentator, opens with a discussion of bioethics and the sanctity of life. Francis Cardinal George reflects on the philosophical understanding of the human person that should be agreeable to all people of good will. John S. Baker, Jr., a legal expert, employs the analogy of complicity in criminal law to help us understand the role of cooperation in hospital mergers and joint ventures. Bishops Donald Wuerl and Daniel Pilarczyk discuss the role of faith and the Ethical and Religious Directives in the provision of Catholic health care. Under the heading of application is a more detailed analysis of how to apply the principles of cooperation to hospital mergers and joint ventures, with several authors contributing, and a variety of other essays on the topics of conscience in a pluralistic society, sexual assault protocols, Catholic refusals to perform sterilizations, and cooperation with assisted suicide. Odds and ends in this volume include a set of reflections by Romanus Cessario, O.P. on the luminous mysteries, an analysis of the ethical issues involved in defending the nation against bioterrorism, and a reflection on the future of biotechnology by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the abortionist who famously converted to the pro-life cause.
Edward J. Furton, Ph.D., is an ethicist and Director of Publications at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Louise A. Mitchell, M.T.S., is Assistant Editor at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.