Law and Medicine in the Service of the Person and Society

(A lecture given in Wellington, New Zealand, 1994, to a combined meeting of the SS. Cosmas and Damian Guild and the St. Thomas More Society)


          Law makes for order. Absence of law for disorder. Man in his individual life as well as in his social life, needs order. Therefore man needs law.

Law, conscience and the jurist (Position Papers, April 1995, pp. 111-116)

      Let us first recall a few elementary ideas about both conscience and law, and then consider some aspects of their inter-relationship.

            Conscience can be described as a personal interior faculty pointing to the right and wrong of one's actions. It is what the moral theologians call the proximate norm of morality. The Second Vatican Council speaks of it as the interior voice "always summoning man to love good and avoid evil, speaking to his heart, saying: do this, avoid that" (GS 16).

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