Richard Sparks, CSP

Richard Sparks, C.S.P., a Paulist priest and widely published author, holds a Ph.D. in ethics from Catholic University of America. He speaks and lectures widely on ethical issues.

Moral Dilemma #3: The Drummer and the Drug Rep — Our Expert Weighs In

After outlining the original dilemma and then adding a later twist to it, now we’re ready to hear an analysis of the dilemma from our in-house expert in moral theology and ethics.

Bravo to the online responders! An overwhelming majority of you in both phases said that Kara is not a physician and therefore is neither competent to diagnose her friend’s mental state nor to prescribe the right course of treatment, whether medication, therapy, or some combination of the two.

While there were many insightful and helpful comments, four of them seem to sum it up very well:

“Offer encouragement to see a doctor and offer to give him some names. Further, since people with depression find it hard to take the first step, ask Robert if she can help him make the contact with a doctor or offer to go along for the first visit.”

Moral Dilemma #2: The Best Friend and the Bridesmaid — Our Expert Weighs In

After outlining the original dilemma and then adding a later twist to it, now we’re ready to hear an analysis of the dilemma from our in-house “expert” in moral theology and ethics:

In the initial survey, as well as in the (post-discovery-of-the-wrinkle-factor) second one, I think I would opt for the final response: “None of these sound right to me.” My primary focus here is the well-being of my best friend Beth. Upon hearing the wedding news, two questions would concern me first: whether she is reading Thomas accurately, and whether he should become her spouse. Whether to be at her wedding ceremony — as maid of honor, bridesmaid, or simply in attendance — is secondary, I think, and largely incidental.


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