Challenges for a Catholic Doctor in the Changing World 14

Fr Joseph Tham, LC, MD, PhD

In this article, I will discuss four challenges that Catholic doctors face in the world today:

1) The secular and Catholic divide that gives rise to two contrasting visions of bioethics: the secular vision based on utilitarianism and materialism, whereas the Catholic vision is based on natural law and human dignity; 2) This divide is most evident in beginning of life issues, on the moral status of the human embryo More…

The Scream of Nature 4

Br Fr Joseph Tham, LC

Munch Edward — The Scream

Recently, Edvard Munch’s emblematic painting “The Scream” was sold for $119.9 million, and became the most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction. This painting is one of four similar works by the Norwegian expressionist artist and is also the only one to include a poem on the frame. He explained the inspiration behind this composition: More…

Why Have Children? 2

By Fr Joseph Tham, LC

As the month May rolls by, the smell of spring is in the air, and it is a month that motherhood is celebrated all over the word.  For Catholics, it is also the month we celebrate the maternal closeness of Mary.  It is therefore a strange contrast with some recent comments that surfaced about the irrationality of having children. More…

Is Neurotheology the Latest Trend in Bioethics? Reply

What is the latest in bioethics?

Fr Joseph Tham

One of the buzzwords of bioethics in the next few decades will likely be “neuro”.  When I was in medical school, we were told that little is known about how the brain works.  However, neuroscience has gained a lot of knowledge in these last 30 years because of the advances of imaging techniques coupled with powerful computer technology.

The tremendous progress on understanding how the human brain works can revolutionize our comprehension of ourselves and our society.  Hence, there are important ethical implications on how to apply this new knowledge. More…

Theology of the Body and Bioethics Reply

Fr Joseph Tham

In my first year of medical practice, I still clearly remember the case of a patient who came to me, truly distressed because he had committed an act of adultery with his secretary.  He wanted me to test him for AIDS, since he was unwilling to put his wife at risk, not knowing if this casual encounter would have infected him. More…

Does Science Need Ethics? Reply

Last May, I was invited to give a talk on this topic at the Faith and Leadership Conference, organized by Renewal in the Spirit Community in Hong Kong.   At first, it seems like an odd question.  It is evident that science and scientists needs to be ethical in their research and their work.  One only needs to recall the haunting images of the atomic bomb explosions over Japan and the Nazi doctors forcing experimentations on concentration camp prisoners.  Science can certainly offer many important advantages to improve our lives, but if it ignores ethics, it could also be used against humanity. More…

The Ethics of Infanticide: Why Should the Baby Die? Reply

Fr Joseph Tham, LC, MD, PhD

“Doctors said they could do no more and sent me home to die – I’m still waiting.”– Nicky Chapman

Suppose you delivered a baby with osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare condition with defect in collagen formation that makes the bones brittle and easy to fracture.  In this case, the condition commonly known as brittle bone disease was so severe that at birth alone the infant suffered 50 fractures. The prognosis was very poor, and the baby would probably grow up blind, deaf and unable to communicate and with severely diminished mental functions. What would you recommend the parents to do? More…