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He is elected by an elite group of bishops known as the College of Cardinals, whose members receive their position through appointment by the previous pope. There is also a papal court known as the Curia , which governs all matters of the church. Further augmenting his authority, the doctrine of papal infallibility allows the pope to define Catholic teachings in all spheres of life, but in practice this is rare. The other 23 particular churches have limited autonomy but are still responsible to the Curia.
Within the Catholic Church there exists an organized system of clergy of patriarchs, bishops, priests and deacons who minister to the needs of the church and its adherents. Canon law refers to the body of laws and regulations developed or adopted by Catholic Church for the government of the Catholic organizations and the faith community. Canon law is at times referred to as ecclesiastical law; however, the former includes legislation borrowed from Roman law as well as those made by the Church, while the latter encompasses only those laws authored by the Church.
Both are contained in the scriptures and in tradition. Importantly, the New Testament of Jesus Christ is considered to abrogate most of the laws based in the Old Testament, save the Ten Commandments, and certain matrimonial regulations. The author of canon law is the church that, as described above, holds supreme authority in matters of faith and morals and is charged with setting up a society running according to divine canon law. The bishops and pope taken together are the active sources of canon law as they decree regulations through ecumenical councils.
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The pope holds the power to set law by himself and the power to abrogate laws made by predecessors or by ecumenical councils. Along with law, Catholic ethicists also deal with another field in debating ethical issues, moral theology. It is defined and guided by natural ethics, Christian scripture, and the positive laws of the church.
Catholic moral thought is a deductive process, starting from principles laid out in theology and applying it to cases through rational argumentation. We will see an example of this process in the discussion of abortion found below. Catholic ethicists place the right to life above all else, because without life there can be no other good. Abortion, at whatever the stage of development of the conceptus, is the taking of innocent human life. The conclusion follows: Abortion is wrong. The distinguishing feature of Catholic ethics when dealing with abortion is the equality, from the very beginning, of the lives of the fetus and the mother.
Understanding this equality helps in understanding the seemingly strict stance on abortion taken by Catholic moral ethicists. Necessity can only be used to override the Catholic prohibition of abortion if the fetus is not directly harmed. Another example would be the case of an ectopic pregnancy when the embryo implants into the fallopian tube and a continued pregnancy would lead to rupture and the possibility of maternal and fetal death.
In this scenario surgical removal of the fallopian tube is permitted even though it would cause the death of the growing embryo, here seen as a potential life of infinite value, because the process is indirect. Thus the good result outweighs the bad result and the procedure is allowed. Some Catholic moral philosophers explicitly state that in this case two natural deaths are better than one murder.
Yet, despite the diversity of time and place, the Muslims of the world refer to a singular universe of meaning elaborated on and rooted in a certain number of fundamental principles. Islamic medical ethics as a cohesive discipline is still in its formative stages. The first is adab literature; writings related to character ethics both in the professional and personal realms. These writings aim at expounding the moral values attached to using certain medical technologies and interventions based on Islamic legal and ethical principles.
Islamic legal reasoning and thought is very different from Catholic reasoning.
Differences exist within the different schools of law. Thus the process of applying qiyas through inductive and deductive reasoning is strikingly similar to halachic reasoning in Judaism. These are protection of religion, life, intellect, lineage, and property. Human life is valued because it is made by God. The four schools differ in the moral culpability and legal permissibility of abortion before the th day of pregnancy; whether it is prohibited categorically or simply morally discouraged and what conditions allow for its undertaking.
Then the spirit is breathed into it Religion is a very important source of ethical values and principles for many patients and physicians. In an increasingly multicultural environment, clinicians come in contact with many religious ideals, some of which may be alien to them. This cursory look at three of the most prominent religious ethical systems may help clinicians to understand and interact with different value systems, thus improving the quality of their care.
Abortion is one example of an ethical question with significant religious implications, and a look at how each religion views the issue of taking one life to save another provides a useful illustration of their bioethical deliberation. Through this examination of abortion in each religion, we see one instance in which one life can be taken in order to save another and gain insight into the ethicolegal processes that were developed by each faith community to deal with the cases of life versus life.
He reviewed a late draft of this article and permitted JIMA to publish the citation to his communication in this article. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J IMA. Published online Oct Padela , MD, MS 2. Aasim I. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Modern secular bioethics has focused on developing a set of universal principles to guide clinical decision making. Keywords: Bioethics, abortion, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam. Introduction Modern medical practice is becoming increasingly diverse. Judaism Judaism refers to the religious system set forth by the Hebrew Scriptures of Ancient Israel also known in Christianity as the Old Testament supplemented by the rabbinic formulations and commentaries of the first six centuries of the Common Era such as the Mishna.
Jewish Ethics and Halacha There are three primary streams in Jewish religious practice marked by their levels of adherence to the Pentateuch : Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative. Abortion The halacha puts great value on human life, and views every human life as having infinite worth. Catholicism The Catholic Church is a federation of 24 churches that place authority in the pope regarding matters of faith and morality. Catholic Moral Theology and Canon Law Canon law refers to the body of laws and regulations developed or adopted by Catholic Church for the government of the Catholic organizations and the faith community.
Human beings do not have the right to take lives of other innocent human beings. Human life begins at the moment of conception. Conclusion Religion is a very important source of ethical values and principles for many patients and physicians. References 1. Principles of Biomedical Ethics.
New York: Oxford University Press; Ilkilic I. Bioethical conflicts between Muslim patients and German physicians and the principles of biomedical ethics. Med Law. Three faiths, one God: the formative faith and practice of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers; Lewis JA. Jewish perspectives on pregnancy and childbearing. Breitowitz Y.
Today, more than 14 million Jews live in dozens of countries around the world, the majority in Israel and the United States. There are several branches within Judaism—including but not limited to Reform, Orthodox, and Conservative—in the United States and elsewhere. A Jewish house of worship is called a synagogue, and the most important religious text in Judaism is the Torah. The Torah includes five books that also appear as the first five books in the Christian Old Testament.
Like the members of any religion or culture, Jews think about and express their identities in a variety of ways, prioritizing their Jewish identity differently within the mix of other factors that make them who they are. In the following three reflections, Rebecca, then age 17, Sara, then age 18, and Angela, an adult, explain the influence that Judaism has on their lives. These are only three examples from the numerous ways that Jews around the world relate to the faith and culture of Judaism. Rebecca writes:.
They involve everything from how you treat other people, to Jewish holidays and how we observe them, and the Sabbath, which is every week, and how we observe that.
There are also a lot of dietary laws. The dietary laws say we can only eat certain kinds of meat that are killed and prepared in a certain way. My parents like to remind me of this funny story. One time when I was two, we were driving past a Burger King. No burgers for Jewish people. It was always something that was part of me. I recognized that it was important.
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We set the Sabbath aside as a day of rest because God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. It really separates the day out from the rest of the week. I spend a lot of time with my family—from Friday night at sundown until Saturday night. I go to prayers at my synagogue in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon.
It makes it more of an important day. Like all the school plays are on Friday nights. I have to give up trying out for school plays. And sports—I used to play softball. But I look at it as a more positive experience. I feel really connected with my Jewish community, but a little less connected to the observance factor of my religion. When I was little, my whole family would sit down every Friday night and light the Shabbat candles and say the blessings. Every once in a while I go to services, but I appreciate it a lot more when I do my own thing and say my own prayers.
Born in Seoul, Korea, to a Korean Buddhist mother and an American Jewish father, Angela explains how she grew to understand herself within the diversity of Jewish life around the world and throughout history:.