Archive for August, 2013

When Politics Trumps Good Medical Practice

The purposes of professional medical associations are to set standards of medical practice for their members, to support members in the practice of medicine, as well as to serve as a voice for their members in the formulation of health care policy. Each of these focus areas should be grounded in sound science and strong medical ethics. Unfortunately, the current medical climate undercuts these principles as more and more policy recommendations seek to advance...

Authentic Healthcare for the Elderly

Recently I saw an ad for the “10 commandments of caring” on the internet. It was produced by the HCR Manor Care Company, which has rest homes around the country. While it is not religiously affiliated, its message is quite good, and I would like to take the reader through it from a Catholic perspective.

If these ideals were followed in other facilities which provide nursing care, assisted living, or any type of...

The Freedom of the Family

There are a number of philosophical theories about the origin of human society. There are two extreme positions.

One is the Social Contract theory dear to Hobbes and Rousseau which maintains that in the beginning there was no society. Man was totally free. Because of evil, human beings banded together to form social contracts which like a plank to a shipwrecked man saves people from the evil tendencies of others. Society...

When Time Stands Still

Not much was happening in the life of Liam James for the first 19 years of his existence. In 1994 he was frozen at two days young and, like Rip Van Winkle, but for one year less than Washington Irving’s retiring character, he slept a very deep sleep. While he slept his peers grew up, went to school, and played sports. Some married, some found jobs, and some passed away. For him, time...

Two Kinds of Happiness: How a New Study Confirms Old Truths

I’m always intrigued when I happen upon a clinical study that implicates important philosophical truths.[1]

The science:

Principal investigators Professor Barbara L. Fredrickson[2] and Dr. Stephen Cole[3] set out to test how feelings of happiness (good psychological health) impact the human immune system (bodily health). Their guiding referent was the hypothesis of a previous investigation in which a group of psychologically unhappy participants—all suffering from chronic stress or poor psychological health—uniformly...

Contemporary Contradictions, Cultural and Political

Never before have we lived in an age where music is so readily and easily available, and yet so lousy (of course, there are many exceptions to be grateful for). There seems to be an inverse relationship at work. As we produce more and more music and create more and more gadgets for playing it, the worse it becomes. I have overheard many raunchy lyrics on the iPods of others while working out...

Has Medicine Lost Her Soul?

The Western medical tradition has held to, and to a large extent still echoes, the Hippocratic tradition enhanced by the Judeo-Christian ethic. Unfortunately, many medical schools now teach very little about appropriate ways to handle the power disparity that defines the relationship between the medical practitioner and the patient. Several schools have even taken to modifying the oath, one might argue arbitrarily, if the students are even asked to take an oath at...

St. Germaine and the Healthy Life

Omar Gutiérrez is a featured speaker at the upcoming conference, “Life, Dignity and Disability” presented by Human Life International and the Nebraska Catholic Conference. Click here to learn more and to register for this exciting conference.

“Health is the vital principle of bliss,” wrote the poet James Thomson. This is one of those sorts of truisms that stands or falls on what one means by “health” and what one means...