Bioethics and the Future of Medicine: A Christian Appraisal (eds. Kilmer, Cameron, and Schiedermayer, 1995)

Thousands of medical ethicists and bioethicists,” Richard John Neuhaus says, “professionally guide the unthinkable on its passage through the debatable on its way to becoming the justifiable until it is finally established as the unexceptionable.” As so many ethicists, physicians, and ordinary folk slide unseeing down various slippery slopes, we can be grateful that a growing number of thoughtful Christians are addressing bioethical issues with care and insight. On the cutting edge of this movement is The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, which, in collaboration with Trinity International University and the Christian Medical and Dental Society, sponsored the conference at which the papers collected in Bioethics and the Future of Medicine were presented. For those whose calling requires them to think through such issues, we recommend both the Center, its conferences and publications, and Bioethics and the Future of Medicine, the first in a series of volumes “addressing the contemporary bioethics agenda from a perspective which is both keenly informed of current questions and deeply grounded in the excellences of the Hippocratic tradition as it has been mediated and interpreted by the distinctives of Christian faith.”

Part I: The Practice of Medicine
“The Christian Stake in Bioethics: The State of the Question” by Nigel Cameron, Ph.D. (Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL).

“The Medical Profession in Modern Society: The Importance of Defining Limits” by H. Jochemsen, Ph.D. (Lindeboom Instituut, Ede, Holland), S. Strijbos, Ph.D. (Free University, Amsterdam), & J. Hoogland, Ph.D. (Erasmus University, Amsterdam).

“Daniel versus Saul: Toward a Distinctly Christian Biomedical Ethics” by Loreen Herwalt, M.D. (University of Iowa Hospital, Iowa City, IA).

“Physician Values and Value Neutrality” by John Peppin, D.O. (University of Osteopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, Des Moines, IA).

“Ethical Problems in the Clinical Study of Religion and Health” by David Larson, M.D. & Mary Greenwold (National Institute for Healthcare Research, Washington, DC).

“The Profession at the Fault Line: The Ethics of Physician Income” by David Schiedermayer, M.D. (Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI).

Part II: The Ethical Underpinnings of Medicine
“Luther’s ‘Freedom of a Christian’ and a Patient’s Autonomy” by Allen Verhey, Ph.D. (Hope College, Holland, MI).

“Saying the Unsaid: Quality of Life Criteria in a Sanctity of Life Position” by Jerome Wernow, Ph.D. (University of Louvain, Belgium).

“Bioethics in the Shadow of Nietzsche” by Stephen Williams, Ph.D. (Union Theological College, Belfast, N. Ireland)
“Bioethics and the Church” by C. Ben Mitchell, M.Div. (Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, TN).

“Christian and Secular Decision-Making in Clinical Ethics” by Robert Orr, M.D. (Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA).

“Doing Bioethics: Christian Ethics, Pastoral Care and Public Policy” by Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. (Washington Community Fellowship, Washington, DC).

Part III: The Evolving Abortion Crisis
“Post-Abortion Syndrome: Fact or Fiction” by Stephanie Smith, Ph.D. (Christian Action Research and Education, London, England).

“Abortifacient Vaccines: Technological Update and Christian Appraisal” by Lawrence Roberge, M.S. (Biotechnology Consultant).

“From Personhood to Bodily Autonomy: The Shifting Focus in the Abortion Debate” by Francis Beckwith, Ph.D. (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV).

“The Bible and Abortion: What of the ‘Image of God’?” by Dónal Mathúna, Ph.D. (Mt Carmel College of Nursing, Columbus, OH).
“Abortion: Responsibility and Moral Betrayal” by Christine Pohl, Ph.D. (Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY).

Part IV: The Expanding Bioethics Agenda
“Pregnancy for Profit?: Legal and Moral Perspectives on Commercial Surrogate Motherhood” by Scott Rae, Ph.D. (Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, CA).

“Clones, Chimeras, and the Image of God: Lessons from Barthian Bioethics” by R. Geoffrey Brown, Ph.D. (Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church, El Cajon, CA).

“Advance Directives: The Case for Greater Dialogue” by Peter Jaggard, M.D. (Evanston Hospital, Evanston, IL).

“The ‘Right to Die’ in the Light of Contemporary Rights-Rhetoric” by J. Daryl Charles, Ph.D. (Prison Fellowship, Reston, VA).

“Until Death Shall be No More: Christian Care for the Dying” by Greg Rutecki, M.D. (NE Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Canton, OH)

“Rationing and Health Care Reform” by John Kilmer, Ph.D. (The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, Bannockburn, IL).

Book Reviewed
Bioethics and the Future of Medicine: A Christian Appraisal edited by John F. Kilmer, Nigel M. De S. Cameron, and David Schiedermayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans; 1995) 303 pp. + index.


The quote by Richard John Neuhaus was taken from his essay “The Return of Eugenics” in Commentary (April 1988) p. 19.