RSSMaking Sense Out of Bioethics

“Drastic Measures” and Cancer Decisions

“Drastic Measures” and Cancer Decisions

| Father Tad Pacholczyk | March 7, 2011 | 0 Comments

During the 1990’s, scientists discovered two gene mutations in the BRCA family of genes which significantly increase a woman’s chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Consequently, as noted in a recent Los Angeles Times article by Anna Gorman, “Many oncologists recommend that women with the mutations consider having their ovaries, fallopian tubes and breasts removed prophylactically [as a precautionary measure] to reduce risk.”

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Working through a hard death

Working through a hard death

| Father Tad Pacholcyk, Ph.D. | February 9, 2011 | 1 Comment

Caregivers and health care professionals can and often do greatly assist those who are suffering and dying. Even with careful pain management and comfort measures, however, the dying process can still be agonizing and difficult.

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Relativism leads to ethical schizophrenia in thought process

Relativism leads to ethical schizophrenia in thought process

| Father Tad Pacholczyk | January 20, 2011 | 1 Comment

I once asked a young physician whether he had received any training in medical ethics during medical school. I wondered whether he had been taught how to handle some of the complex moral questions that can arise when practicing medicine.

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Humans in “Frozen Orphanages”

Humans in “Frozen Orphanages”

| Father Pacholczyk | December 7, 2010 | 2 Comments

A key argument in the embryonic stem cell debate — widely invoked by scientists, patient advocacy groups, and politicians — involves the fate of frozen embryos. Barack Obama put it this way in 2008: “If we are going to discard those embryos, and we know there is potential research that could lead to curing debilitating diseases – Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease – if that possibility presents itself, then I think that we should, in a careful way, go ahead and pursue that research.”

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Facing fear of terminal illness leads to a more peaceful death

Facing fear of terminal illness leads to a more peaceful death

| Father Tad Pacholczyk | December 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

In modern times, dying is more often portrayed as a cold, clinical reality to be kept at arm’s length, relegated to the closed doors of a hospital, almost hermetically sealed from the rest of our lives.

When it comes to the event itself, we diligently work to avoid confronting it, addressing it or ac­knowledging it.

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Facing Terminal Illnesses Realistically

Facing Terminal Illnesses Realistically

| November 5, 2010 | 0 Comments

In modern times, dying is more and more often portrayed as a cold, clinical reality to be kept at arm’s length, relegated to the closed doors of a hospital, almost hermetically sealed from the rest of our lives. When it comes to the event itself, we diligently work to avoid confronting it, addressing it, or acknowledging it.

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Defending the dignity of those with dementia

Defending the dignity of those with dementia

| Father Tad Pacholczyk | October 20, 2010 | 0 Comments

I once heard a remarkable story from a woman named Cecilia sitting next to me on a long flight. She told me how her mother had suffered from dementia for many years, eventually reaching the point that she could no longer recognize any of her children when they would visit at the nursing home.

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