Ordinary and Extraordinary Means of Conserving Human Life

Cronin_StandardOriginally published as a doctoral dissertation, Archbishop Daniel Cronin’s survey of moral theology on the topic of ordinary and extraordinary means remains the standard reference work on this critically important distinction for end-of-life decision making. Continuously cited since its original publication, this revised edition brings the classic text back into print after ten years. Cronin examines all of the major authors from the Catholic historical tradition, showing how the difference between ordinary and extraordinary means has developed over the years with the progress of medical science.

“Cronin identifies and applies Church teaching to medical treatment from the thirteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. At each point in history, advances in medicine, with case-specific examples, are analyzed in relationship to the obligation to conserve life. Cronin shows how, centuries before society was faced with questions like those raised by the case of Terri Schiavo, theological insight into a set of consistently recognized obligations to conserve life has provided both physician and patient with moral direction. Th at same tradition also identifies a relative norm under which these imperatives would not be considered obligatory.”

Daniel A. Cronin was ordained a Catholic priest in 1952 and received his doctorate of sacred theology from the Gregorian University in Rome in 1956. He served the Church in parochial ministry and positions at the Vatican. In 1970, he was named the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, and in 1991, third archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. He retired from active ministry in 2003.

Ordinary and Extraordinary Means of Conserving Human Life

A landmark Work on End-Of-Life Decision Making by Archbishop Daniel Cronin

50th Anniversary Edition.

Daniel A. Cronin with foreword by Marie T. Hilliard

$34.95 plus shipping & handling.

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