What, exactly, does it mean to be human? It is an age-old question, one for which theology, philosophy, science, and medicine have all provided different answers. But though a unified response to the question can no longer be taken for granted, how we answer it frames the wide range of different norms, principles, values, and intuitions that characterize today's bioethical discussions. If we don't know what it means to be human, how can we judge whether biomedical sciences threaten or enhance our humanity? This fundamental question, however, receives little attention in the study of bioethics. In a field consumed with the promises and perils of new medical discoveries, emerging technologies, and unprecedented social change, current conversations about bioethics focus primarily on questions of harm and benefit, patient autonomy, and equality of health care distribution. Prevailing models of medical ethics emphasize human capacity for self-control and self-determination, rarely considering such inescapable dimensions of the human condition as disability, loss, and suffering, community and dignity, all of which make it difficult for us to be truly independent.
In "Health and Human Flourishing", contributors from a wide range of disciplines mine the intersection of the secular and the religious, the medical and the moral, to unearth the ethical and clinical implications of these facets of human existence. Their aim is a richer bioethics, one that takes into account the roles of vulnerability, dignity, integrity, and relationality in human affliction as well as human thriving. Including an examination of how a theological anthropology - a theological understanding of what it means to be a human being - can help us better understand health care, social policy, and science, this thought-provoking anthology will inspire much-needed conversation among philosophers, theologians, and health care professionals.
Carol R. Taylor is director of the Center for Clinical Bioethics, a senior research scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, and an assistant professor of nursing at Georgetown University. Roberto Dell'Oro is assistant professor in The Bioethics Institute and the graduate director of the Master of Arts Program in Bioethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Foreword Introduction: Roberto Dell'Oro Part 1: QUESTIONING AT THE BOUNDARY 1: Theological Anthropology and BioethicsRoberto Dell'Oro 2: Vulnerability, Agency, and Human FlourishingAlisa L. Carse 3: Pluralism, Truthfulness and the Patience of BeingWilliam Desmond Part 2: DIGNITY AND INTEGRITY4: Dignity and the Human as a Natural KindDaniel P. Sulmasy, OFM 5: On Being True to FormMargaret E. Mohrmann 6: The Integrity Conundrum Suzanne Holland Part 3: VULNERABILITY7: Vulnerability and the Meaning of Illness: Reflections on Lived Experience S. Kay Toombs 8: A Meditation on Vulnerability and PowerRichard M. Zaner 9: Vulnerability within the Body of Christ: Anointing of the Sick and Theological AnthropologyM. Therese Lysaught Part 4: RELATIONALITY10: Gender and Human RelationalityChristine E. Gudorf 11: Bioethics, Relationships, and Participation in the Common GoodLisa Sowle Cahill Part 5: THEOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY AND PRAXIS 12: Health Care and a Theological AnthropologyCarol Taylor, CSFN 13: Health Policy and a Theological AnthropologyRon Hamel 14: Science and a Theological AnthropologyKevin T. FitzGerald, SJ Toward a Richer Bioethics: A ConclusionEdmund D. Pellegrino ContributorsIndex
Health and Human Flourishing represents a positive contribution towards validating voices of faith expressed through rational argumentation in the sphere of bioethics. Health Progress The contributors' ability to see the healing professions not only in terms of positive outcomes, but also in the context of our interdependence and mutual frailty suggests that the field of medical ethics is indeed reaching into its full human maturity. America This book is to be praised and indeed read and discussed for its daring attempt to address the anthropological quandry, thereby moving the bioethical debate beyond its usual focus on rights, decision making, and (meta-)ethical theories. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics Undoubtably relevant beyond the US Catholic milieu. The collection will be helpful, not only to those engaged in medicine or bioethics, but to anyone reflecting on the meaning of human vulnerability, integrity, relationality and flourishing in the light of experiences of illness and healing. The Way
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