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Boston hosts Catholic Medical Assoc. conference

Psychiatrist Richard Fitzgibbons, speaks on “The Crisis in the Church and Adolescent Males” Oct. 27 at the Catholic Medical Association conference. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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BOSTON -- Reason can lead all people to understand the natural moral law, according to speakers at this year’s 75th annual conference of the Catholic Medical Association Oct. 26-28 at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel.

The conference, entitled “The Natural Moral Law: God’s Gift to Humanity,” focused on the universal ethical principles in medical practice.

John M. Haas, a bioethicist and president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Pennsylvania, said the Church teaches that contraceptives are intrinsically evil because of natural law. Contraceptives treat fertility as a defect, and it is unreasonable to treat a good as if it is an evil, he said.

“While we are under no obligation to realize all goods of which we are capable, we are obligated never to act against a good as though it were an evil,” he said.

During his talk, “Contraception and the Marital Contract,” Haas illustrated this point with an example. He said if his son asked him to join in a game of basketball and he could not, he could respond in two ways: Haas could yell and berate the boy for asking -- treating the good of their friendship as if it were an evil -- or he could offer the reasonable response of explaining why he could not play and scheduling the activity for a later time.

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