A journal of academic theology

Catholic Participation in Needle- and Syringe-Exchange Programs for Injection-Drug Users: An Ethical Analysis

Needle- and syringe-exchange programs aim to decrease infections among those who are dependent on injection drugs. Some have questioned whether church sponsorship of such programs constitutes illicit cooperation in the evil of drug abuse. This article examines the question under classical formulations of cooperation and in light of current empirical evidence and concludes that this is not the case. Questions are also raised about whether, if substance dependence is a disease and not a moral failing, an analysis based on cooperation is actually the appropriate category of analysis.

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