Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 68(3) August 2018

The Bioethics Column

Why Should Young Catholics in Healthcare Learn About Bioethics?
By Thaddeus, A Young Catholic Bioethicist

Semper IdemWhether you are already working as a healthcare practitioner or are still a student, sooner or later you will encounter ethical problems relating to patient care. These might be of a diverse nature, e.g. relating to the choice of treatment, allocation of resources, or deciding to high­light a particular behaviour (either of the patient or another staff member) to someone higher up.

While your professional training should include some ethics education, being a Catholic adds another dimension to the whole process. While it might be useful to know what one or another professor thinks about a particular bioethics issue, as Catholics we recognise that our primary relationship is with God. We are called to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13), and following Christ (Luke 2:34), signs of contradiction to the world. We know that the decisions we make should be for the glory of God and our own salvation, but they should also enlighten (cf Matthew 5:14-15) those around us so that they may also see the truth, love and good we found in Christ.

This is not to say that we cannot look for useful insights in the works of secular writers, but that we should always have the guidelines that God gives us through His Church in front of our eyes. It is the aim of this series of short articles to prompt you to reflect on some of the issues we are currently facing in bioethics and on the guidance the Church offers us on these issues. In the next instalment we will consider what healthcare is, and what that means for us as Catholics working (or training to work) in healthcare.