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Ethical Issues Principles and Concepts

As a Catholic healthcare provider, the SCL Health is concerned with the spiritual, psychosocial, emotional, and medical well-being of all those we serve. This includes those who come to us for care, their families, and the communities in which we are located, as well as our associates.

These Ethics pages offer guidance to those who seek a better understanding of the ethical issues that can arise in the delivery of healthcare, and assistance in making ethical health care decisions.

A document critical to this understanding comes from the bishops of the United States. The Ethical And Religious Directives For Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) express how Catholic teaching informs a variety of healthcare issues, and guides us in responding to them in a manner that respects the dignity of each human person, while maintaining and promoting the mission and identity of Catholic healthcare. As new technologies bring new ethical dilemmas, the ERDs may be updated, but the essential teachings on which they are based will not change.

This Ethics section provides information about the principles of Catholic teaching, as well as about common issues in healthcare and their ethical dimensions. In addition, cases are included which illustrate the relationship between these issues and principles.

If questions remain, or if you would like further, more in-depth discussion of any ethical issue, contact SCL Health at 303-813-5190.

This Ethics document is also available as printable PDF file using Adobe Acrobat. If you do not already have an Adobe Acrobat Reader, download a free copy now from Adobe Acrobat.