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Book and Media Reviews
October 12, 2011

Medical Ethics: Sources of Catholic Teachings

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Ecumenical Institute, Baltimore, Maryland (pfosarelli@stmarys.edu).

JAMA. 2011;306(14):1604. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1455

In the fourth edition of their Medical Ethics: Sources of Catholic Teachings, authors Kevin O’Rourke and Philip Boyle do an admirable job of providing the texts of basic Roman Catholic documents that guide many Catholics in making health care decisions.

The book is divided into 2 parts: part 1, “Understanding Church Teaching” (30 pages), in which the authors establish the Roman Catholic Church's guiding principles for its moral teaching, and part 2, “Specific Teachings of the Church” (300 pages), in which the authors examine 74 different medical or health care issues and the Church's stand on them, based on Church texts that speak to each issue.

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