Last Rights examines end-of-life decisions in the context of the Roman Catholic tradition, a heritage rich in its teaching about the human person, the value of life, and the moral rights and responsibilities inherent to every human being. Written for Catholics seeking a better understanding of their own tradition, ministers who deal with Catholic patients, those who wish to learn more about the Catholic perspective, and ordinary decision-makers who must face these complex issues, Last Rights includes cross-references, a glossary, and an appendix and bibliography that provide resources for further study and helpful tools for end-of-life decision-making.
Dr. Dolores L. Christie is executive director of the Catholic Theological Society of America with national offices at John Carroll University. An experienced clinical ethicist, she serves on the ethics committees of a tertiary care hospital, a long-term care facility, and on the Ohio Solid Organ Transplant Consortium ethics and patient selection committees. She is the author of Adequately Considered: An American Approach to Louis Janssens' Personalist Morals (Peeters, 1990) as well as several book chapters and articles and many reviews. Her article, "This Is My Body: A Good Friday Reflection," (Emmanuel Magazine) won the 1997 Catholic Press Journalism Award for Best Magazine Article. She lives in Cleveland with her physician husband of 43 years, Richard Christie.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 A Catholic View of the Human Person Chapter 3 The Catholic Moral Tradition: Objective Elements Chapter 4 The Decision Maker and the Tradition Chapter 5 Making Plans before Dying Chapter 6 When They Say Treatment Is Futile Chapter 7 When the Patient Cannot Respond: Coma or Persistent Vegetative State Chapter 8 When the Patient Cannot Eat: Artificial Nutrition and Hydration Chapter 9 When the Patient Is Ready to Die: Suicide and Its Companions Chapter 10 Final Gifts: Interpersonal Dimensions of Dying Chapter 11 The Final Blessing: Religious and Pastoral Dimensions of Dying