Bioethics

Read the headlines or browse news stories these days and you’ll find all sorts of medically related topics. Cloning. Infertility. Test tube babies. Euthanasia. Stem cell research. Embryo adoption. Surrogacy. These are just a sampling, right? My journey through infertility and pregnancy loss has given me a front-row seat in some of the bioethics conversations—a seat I never would have pursued had my situation not demanded answers. I served on the board of an international consumer group for infertility patients, and I wrestled my way through “Why does God allow such suffering?” That journey led me to coauthor books on bioethical topics in partnership with a theologically-trained medical doctor and the Christian Medical Association. We also contributed chapters in some books and coauthored a related column for ten months. How do you and I navigate our way through complex medical issues? How do we process these topics through the grid of a truly Christian worldview (not to be confused with a political party’s)? Knowing that good men and women arrive at differing conclusions, what principles should guide our thinking? Hopefully you will find answers to some of those questions here.

Posts on Bioethics

On Beauty, The Senses, and Science

By | Bioethics, Life In The Body | No Comments

On Saturday, I organized some stacks of papers started before I got my PhD. The deadline has passed for blaming it on the busyness of school (I graduated in 2013!). In the stack I found some quotes I had saved that are worth sharing. . . .

C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:

There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the hope of “Heaven” ridiculous by saying they do not want “to spend eternity playing harps.” All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, he meant that we were to lay eggs.

C. S. Lewis in Transposition and Other Addresses:

How far the life of the risen [human] will be sensory, we do …

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When Mother’s Day Never Comes

By | Bioethics, Infertility | 6 Comments
easter 1960

I’m thankful for my own mother who, when I miscarried, wrote, “We are both grieving for our children.”

Often the worst day of the year for an infertile woman is Mother’s Day. On this holiday going to a house of worship can feel more like going to the house of mourning.

During the decade when my husband and I experienced infertility treatment, lost multiple pregnancies, and endured three failed adoptions, I found it difficult enough to see all the corsages on M-Day. But then the pastor asked mothers  to stand, and I remained conspicuously seated. Some years the worship leader would even call for the youngest mother to stand, and then he smiled awkwardly as a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old unmarried teen got to her feet. On such occasions I would sit wondering about God’s mysterious ways of supply and demand. Following most such services, each mother would receive a carnation …

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Bioethics in the News

By | Bioethics | No Comments

New Test Can Predict Cancer More Than a Decade Before Diagnosis

The Telegraph reported that scientists at Harvard and Northwestern University have devised a test that can predict with 100% accuracy whether a person will develop cancer up to 13 years in the future, as changes are already taking place on chromosomes more than a decade prior to diagnosis.

New Drug Info Made Public

The New York Times reports that Medicare has released detailed data on prescription drug use in the USA.  The data was the most detailed breakdown ever provided by government officials about the prescription claims of Medicare beneficiaries.

Couple Fighting Over Frozen Embryos

(New York Times) “Our frozen embryos have a right to live,” says Sofia Vergara’s ex-fiancé. Last August he filed a complaint in Santa Monica, Calif., using pseudonyms, to protect two frozen embryos the couple created.

NIH Reiterates Ban on Editing

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