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

“The Student Body”: Do Students’ BMI Tests Do More Harm Than Good?

By Bioethics, Justice, Life In The BodyNo Comments

When Bailey Webber interviewed people for her new documentary, The Student Body, she took a set of bathroom scales with her. And every person with whom she spoke, she asked, “Would you be willing to step on the scales so we can get your BMI?” To a person, they balked. Most ultimately refused, though some reluctantly agreed. A lot of kids in our schools don’t get the choice to decline. And then a letter arrives notifying them that they are too skinny or too fat. In the ground-breaking and excellently produced film she made with her dad, Bailey, a young journalist, tackles the heated topic of childhood obesity and misguided efforts to solve our national childhood obesity epidemic. And just what are those misguided efforts? Lawmakers in dozens of states have passed mandates requiring schools to perform body mass index (BMI) tests on students and then send letters stating their results….

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My latest novel: Lethal Harvest Remix

By Bioethics, Books, JusticeNo Comments

Sixteen years ago, a couple of wannabe novelists saw stem cell research on the horizon and launched our first narrative that explored the ethical side of such complex medical issues. Completely apart from our planning, the book launch happened the same week leaders at the Human Genome Project announced they had a rough draft of the human genome. And that announcement thrust our subject into the headlines, so books flew off the shelves. The characters in our story used landlines. And they could receive email only when using desktop computers. No smartphones, no texting. And acting according to what is now outdated medical procedure. So this month, Lethal Harvest re-released with a makeover. In the 15+ years since we wrote the story, I’ve grown as a writer and spinner of yarns. So when Kregel asked for an update, I jumped at the chance to improve on the dialogue, characterization, and general storyline—while, of course, updating the tech. My beloved coauthor passed suddenly three years ago, so the…

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On Beauty, The Senses, and Science

By Bioethics, Life In The BodyNo 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 not…

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