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Now and at the Hour of Our Death: Making Moral Decisions at the End of Life

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This book addresses important common issues and moral questions people face when they, or someone they love, experience serious or end-stage illnesses.

These issues and questions often arise due to advances in medicine and medical technology: "What medical procedures are morally required, and what procedures are optional"? "Is providing food and water to a patient an optional medical treatment, or is it basic care necessary for all human beings"?"If food and water are basic care, are there circumstances under which they may be declined or withheld"? "What roles do issues like 'conscience,' 'quality of life,' 'pain,' or 'financial burden' to a patient or his family play in end-of-life decision making"?

This book sets forth the process of reaching moral answers to these questions, and many more, in a clear and concise question-and-answer format in light of the Catholic Church's teaching from the Holy Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. Many people without a well-developed knowledge of medical science, lacking a basic familiarity with common medical terminology, and unfamiliar with relevant medical diagnoses and treatment options are easy marks for authoritative-sounding medical assertions, even immoral ones, in the name of science. This is often compounded by a moral formation needing more information and skills to make sound moral decisions.

This work provides guidance so readers can quickly turn to their most pressing questions and find answers consistent with the Christian Faith and the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. The book uses practical reasoning to understand and apply the correct moral principles to specific concrete situations to reach proper moral conclusions. Most of the questions in the book are taken directly from interactions with those facing difficult moral decisions and asked of the authors in the context of presentations across the country. This is a timely and highly practical book because it deals with issues everyone will eventually face, and it shows how making good moral decisions leads to happiness now and at the hour of our death.

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Additional Information

Nikolas Nikas, MA, JD, Bruce Green, Th.M., J.D.
Softcover, 213 pages
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