LA Catholic Morning Radio Interview Archives
Topics: Assisted Suicide; Cryogenics
The False Solution of Assisted Suicide A discussion of how the promotion of physician assisted suicide by the medical profession is fundamentally incompatible with the Hippocratic Oath. Father Tad considers appropriate responses to pain and terminal trials, and reflects on the real meaning of the "sanctity of human life" even in the face of our sufferings.
Can Your Body Be Frozen and Reanimated in the Future? How should we think about attempts to use cryogenics to freeze a body after death and reanimate it in the future? Father also considers some of the spiritual and moral implications of longevity and life-extension research efforts.
Broadcast Date: November 22, 2017
Topic: A Painful Presumption
What Does the Medical Data Reveal About Whether the Child Experiences Pain During an Abortion? The unborn child's ability to feel pain is an important consideration that can also served to guide the crafting of reasonable legal restrictions on the practice of abortion. Various other angles are also explored with respect to the unfettered access to abortion that currently exists in the US, expanding the imperative to limit and ultimately prevent this tremendous societal evil. Father Tad and the hosts also discuss how profoundly fathers can be affected, and their lives altered, by pregnancy and abortion.
Broadcast Date: October 31, 2017
Topics: Sexual Activity and the Dictates of Reason; Pediatric Leukemia
What Constitutes Reasonable Sexual Activity? Father Tad takes up the theme of what "proper" and "ordered" sexual activity really means and its connection to child bearing and raising. The hosts and Father Tad consider the striking phenomenon of certain cultures that almost instinctively view sexual activity between husband and wife in terms of a "search" for offspring, contrasting with the modern tendency of our culture to arrogate to itself an absolutist "control via countermanding" of the procreative aspect of the marital act.
Novel Pediatric Leukemia Treatments, and Ethics in Research. In the second segment, the hosts and Father Tad discuss the use of CAR-T cell immunotherapies for pediatric leukemia, contrasting it with chemotherapy and other "blunt instrument" approaches. They discuss how "unlocking" our understanding of the immune system opens up new possibilities for treatments. As this understanding advances, new engineering possibilities arise which can result in highly specific "attack vectors" for anomalous situations like cancer. They discuss the need to be sure that new therapies, and therapy development in general, is ethical, avoiding the "I need my cure now, and I don't care how you get it" syndrome.
Broadcast Date: September 27, 2019
Topics: Facing Infertility; Editing Human Genes
The Desire for Children: Father Tad discusses the challenging issue of infertility, and considers the various options for couples struggling to get pregnant, focusing on the morally-significant distinction between assisting the marital act and replacing the marital act.
Editing the Genetic Structure of an Embryo. In the second segment Father Tad speaks about the idea of editing genes in human embryos. He examines the risks and grave moral concerns implicit in this new procedure, as well as considering situations where changing the genes of an adult patient would be morally permissible.
Broadcast Date: August 15, 2017
Topics: The Charlie Gard Case; Respect for the Body after Death
The Handling of the Charlie Gard Case. A discussion of the case of Charlie Gard. Father Tad reviews the ethical implications of the British court's judgement in removing Charlie’s health care decisions from the hands of his parents and instead placing those decisions with the court. The hosts and Father Tad also discuss Charlie’s disease and the question of the reasonableness of attempting various experimental treatments.
Bioethical Concerns and Questions Following Death. Father addresses whether it is acceptable to donate our bodies to science as well as being an organ donor after we die.
Broadcast Date: July 19, 2017
Topics: The Use of PED's; A Head/Body Transplant?
When Does Bigger, Faster, and Stronger Become Immoral? Father Tad begins by describing the not uncommon use of performance enhancing drugs (PED's). He reviews what they are and provides some background science regarding these drugs, as well as addressing the moral concerns raised by their use.
A Longer Life at Any Cost? In the second segment, he tackles the idea of head transplants, addressing the physical risks and the disability implications for those who might undergo such an unusual procedure. He also considers some of the moral implications surrounding this type of surgery.
Broadcast Date: June 28, 2017
Topic: Discerning the Ethics of Modern Scientific Advances
Cellular Engineering Technology and New Tools to Create Organs with Stem Cells. In this podcast Father Tad addresses the challenges of bringing nutrients to artificial tissues that are built up to a certain size, as scientists seek to create artificial organs. How do we approach science reasonably, but avoid glorifying it improperly or falling into the “science as panacea” viewpoint? He discusses whether science can promise us immortality and what kinds of ethical issues surround longevity studies and the quest for good health. Some emerging technologies are also considered, such as artificial uteri, with successes being reported in using premature lambs, keeping them alive as a "sheep in a bag" so they can mature further before being "delivered." The ethical concerns around the idea of using an artificial uterus to gestate and rescue frozen human embryos are also discussed.
Broadcast Date: May 17, 2017
Topic: To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate — That Is the Question
Is there a Moral Duty to Use Vaccines? What does the virtue of prudence tell us about choosing to vaccinate or not vaccinate our children, both in terms of their own well-being, and in terms of herd immunity? Some families may opt for a mixed approach, preferring to avoid getting their children vaccinated with the full schedule at a young age, and delaying or spacing out their vaccine schedule.
Broadcast Date: April 19, 2017
Topics: Disordered Inclinations; Designer Babies
Understanding That We're Not Intrinsically Evil, Even as We Acknowledge That We May Have Disordered Inclinations. The struggle of the person with homosexual inclinations. Reflecting on the duty to "hate the sin, but love the sinner."
The Ethics of Altering the Human Genome. The need to distinguish between changes to a single person that will not be transmitted to their children (such as certain genetic changes to cure diseases, like sickle cell anemia), versus altering human embryos, or human sex cells, or other changes that will be transmitted to future generations. What about non-therapeutic changes, changes which are actually enhancements, like making stronger muscles in humans. Can we re-engineer ourselves?
Broadcast Date: March 22, 2017
Topics: Cohabitation; A Bioethics Chat
The Dangers of Cohabitation. In the first segment of this podcast Father Tad addresses the issue of cohabitation. He explains some of the effects this can have on the relationship as well as the effects on one's spiritual health.
The Importance of Bioethics. Father Tad discusses his article describing how the Church addresses bioethical questions. He also describes some of the issues and concerns related to the proposal to genetically modify human embryos.
Broadcast Date: February 22, 2017
Topic: Making Good Decisions When Facing a Terminal Illness
The Elements of a Good Death. Father Tad discusses the importance of using well the time we still have when we receive a terminal diagnosis, to avoid suddenly finding ourselves too tired and weak to engage. Making good decisions about continuing or discontinuing treatments involves assessing benefits vs. burdens. What about health care proxies? How can expense affect our decisions about continuing or declining treatments? He discusses death as a kind of birth to new life and considers the challenges of “dying well” — including the need to move our thinking beyond the distraction of "the next technical intervention or therapy" towards the final sacraments, prayer and reconciling with others.
Broadcast Date: January 17, 2017