Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Needle Exchange Program Sponsored by Albany Diocese

The Washington Post today reports on a needle exchange program sponsored by the Albany Diocese with interesting debates on the issue by Catholic theologians. The Diocese believes it is time for reconsideration of a twenty-year-old statement of the U.S. Conference of Bishops. The article is here. Any comments?


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I posted a link to the NCR report on this on FB the other day. My view, as I expressed there, was: Horray for the Albany Diocese. There is no question in my mind this is the lesser evil.

Posted by: Susan Stabile | Feb 13, 2010 10:44:49 AM

If one were to take a "lesser evil" analysis in this situation, and extend it to most (any?) other situation where a grave offense is involved, and one could justify many lesser evils, if one is simply willing to define the end result as a lesser evil under some pragmatic calculus.

"The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law." CCC 2291

Surely, one could read the letter of that statement and not the spirit, and the Diocese could open a "bring your own drugs" safety center, where users are supplied with clean, sterile, paraphernalia to use the drugs they bring themselves. No doubt diseases from dirty needles would be greatly reduced, and there could even be an emergency team on site when ODs and reactions to other substances "cut" into the drugs occurred.

I suppose another question here is, has the Federal ban on funding needle exchange programs with Federal monies ended, is the Diocese receiving Federal funds, and, why isn't a needle exchange program considered supply drug paraphernalia?

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Posted by: Thesis Writing Help | Feb 23, 2010 8:11:34 AM