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DE LA SALLE HEALTH SCIENCES CAMPUS – COLLEGE OF MEDICINE

Detoxicol
SDLS 2008
Medicine for the intoxicated
Subject: Bioethics Lecture Date: November 11,2005
Topic: The Principle of Cooperation Transcriber(s): Jaime Aherrera
Lecturer: Dr. Melchor Frias No. of pages: 2

THE PRINCIPLE OF COOPERATION

INTRODUCTION
• Cooperation is usually a Principle applied among Medical Practitioners who are in Training
• Ex) Residents, Interns, Clerks, Etc

I. COPPERATION
• Any physical or moral Concurrence with a Principal Agent in a Sinful Deed
• “Cooperating in Sin”
• Principally assisting a Principal Agent
• By cooperating, it does not mean that it will give rise to Sin (the Principal Agent already has the Evil Intention)
• Ex) When we cooperate in Abortion

**IMPORTANT Notes:
o Cooperator = anyone who assists a Sinful Agent (assist in being involved in an activity itself, or just
providing certain assistance – example: by handing Instruments during Abortion)
o They make available means or information for the act to be done
o Ex) Providing the venue for Abortion, providing Transportation for the Abortion, etc

II. TWO TYPES OF COOPERATION

A. Formal Cooperation
o Obtained when one Externally concurs in the sinful deed of another, and at the same time externally
consents to it (Formal = Explicit)
o ALWAYS Sinful or Immoral (NEVER Allowed!)
o Ex) In Assisting in Abortion – we assist the principal agent, and we AGREE to it (in our minds, it is not a
sinful procedure)  SINFUL

**IMPORTANT Note:
 We cannot be FORCED to do a certain procedure we are against
 If we agree with the procedure, then we are Formally Cooperating
 Formal Cooperation = Assist + Approval

**Points from Prenotes:


 You are actually involved in the Evil Action, and NOT merely a Spectator and you AGREE
 Always SINFUL or Immoral

B. Material Cooperation
o When one Externally concurs in the Sinful Deed of another WITHOUT Internally Consenting to it
o It is Generally Illicit, since the evil of Sin should not be supported by any means, but on the contrary
Opposed and Suppressed
o Ex) If you are FORCED to do a procedure (under the threat of Death) – we Don’t Agree to the Procedure,
but we are Forced to do it (Involved Physically, you only assist, but you are Forced to do it)

1. Mediate Material Cooperation


 When one provides means and other helps for the sinful deed or evil act WITHOUT joining the evil
act itself (we DON’T Participate in the act itself)
 Morality depends on Facts and Situations
 Gravity depends on HOW IMPORTANT the cooperation is to the facilitation of the act

**Some Examples:
• As clerks, we only hand Instruments to the Doctor performing an Abortion
• Providing the Operating Room for the Abortion to take place
2. Immediate Material Cooperation
 When one concurs in the Sinful Deed or Evil Act itself
 Almost Always Sinful or Immoral (but there are Exceptions)
 The act is NOT Performed with real approval or consent (ex. done under the Threat of Death)
 Ex) In a Bank Robbery, you are one of the Robbers & you took a share in the Stolen Money

NORMS OF MATERIAL COOPERATION


• Cooperation that will HARM the Church and State = IMMORAL

❖ Material Cooperation is Permissible if TWO Conditions are verified (Principle of Double Effect)
1. The Act by which Cooperation is rendered may NOT be Sinful in Itself
 Ex) The Clerk as an Observer – the Act of Observing is NOT Sinful in itself

2. There should be a Sufficient Cause for Granting an assistance which is to Serve an Evil Purpose
 The resident who is the only one left in the Hospital to perform Tubal Ligation – if he Doesn’t
perform it, he will NOT Graduate

**IMPORTANT Note:
• To be Permissible, it must meet the Principle of Double Effect
• Good > Evil

I. NORMS FOR MEDIATE MATERIAL COOPERATION

❖ In Estimating the Sufficiency of the Reason for Material Cooperation, take into Consideration:
1. The Gravity of the Other’s Sin
 Ex) Abortion is Worse than Ligation

2. The Closeness of the Cooperation to the Sinful Act


 What was the person’s role in the act?
 Ex) An Intern who hands the Instruments has MORE Cooperation as compared to the Janitor who
prepared the room for the Abortion

3. The Indispensability of the Cooperation


 If your Cooperation is really needed – then you are more responsible
 If you are really needed in an Abortion – more involved
 Ex) A Clerk is not really needed in an Abortion

4. One’s Obligation to Prevent the Wrong-Doing


 Ex) If a Resident DOES Not Agree with the Procedure, then he should DECLINE the Operation (Its
is the Hospital Administration who is responsible for the Abortion)

II. NORMS FOR IMMEDIATE MATERIAL COOPERATION

• Almost ALWAYS IMMORAL!


• Exception = occurs when there is a Quertion of Damage to another’s Property

A. Immediate Cooperation in Injuring Another’s Property because of Grave Fear = Permissible IF:
o One intends and is able to make reparations
o The Injustice will be committed also without his cooperation
o The damage done is SMALL

B. IMPORTANT Notes:
o If NONE of the Conditions is verified, one may cooperate Immediately only if he would otherwise suffer a
Very Grave Harm himself

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SDLS 2008
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