In the Service of Human Life
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Applied Bioethics in stylized text
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In the Service of Human Life

Embryonic Gene-Editing

An ultrasound photo on a bed of soft fabricsultrasound-photo-on-bed.jpg

News of the birth of the world’s first gene-edited babies made headlines worldwide. Born in a Chinese hospital, Dr. He Jiankui edited the embryo’s DNA in an attempt to make the twins resistant to HIV. Their mother is HIV-negative, but their father is HIV-positive. This put the twins at high risk for contracting HIV while in utero.Read Article

Ralph Northam's Quote

Fall foilage from a mountain ridge

The New York and Virginia legislatures have been in the news lately with proposed bills that address the legality of third trimester abortions, also known as late-term abortion. Abortion, because of its inherent desire to end the life of a human person is indefensible. Even less so is the termination of a pregnancy when a child is fully developed.Read Article

Ethical Vaccines

Test tubes in a labratory

It’s important to understand how the derivation of these modern vaccines presents an ethical dilemma. The original versions of many of the vaccines that we use today were developed using tissues from two aborted fetuses, whose remains were donated to scientific research. Researchers developed vaccines using their organic matter, and that formula has been replicated through the years. The original fetal tissue is no longer in use as those cells have long ceased living. Instead, derivative cells from the original tissue have been grown, from which the vaccines continue to be produced.Read Article

Why Conscience Rights

Semi-private hospital room with beds and equiptment

The importance of conscience rights cannot be understated. The independence and autonomy of clinicians is a principal benefit to the patient. By accepting and respecting the clinician’s medical decision making, we can have justified true belief that they will act in their patient’s best interests.Read Article

The Right to Another Person

Child plays on a toy blanket

Americans reject the notion that a person has a right to another person. This is most clearly illustrated in our morally correct judgement against slavery. Ironically, despite this rejection, there are many other areas of human activity that we accept as normal that rely exclusively on that right.Read Article

Vaccination and Parental Autonomy

Mother and son play on a sunny beach

Parents of young children are routinely faced with ethical decision making in the course of routine medical care, and the ethics of vaccination are a contentious topic right now. Every major medical organization in the United States recommends the vaccination of children, but there are many parents who object to vaccinations.
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Rocks on a beach at sunrise

Does reversibility negate bioethical violation? The human reproductive system is unique as it is the only system that requires a complimentary body to complete its function. All other systems are closed, and self-supporting. The great challenge of the human person is mastering and respecting one’s own reproductive powers.Read Article


Team rowers on the water a sunset

When we face challenging diagnoses, it can be hard to judge between artificially prolonging life and justly extending our life by overcoming illness. It’s good to apply a test of ordinary versus extraordinary means to a treatment, but there’s a secondary standard that may crystallize the right path forward. That standard is one of proportionality.Read Article

Religion & Bioethics

The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Italy

We’re all at fault for our polarized culture. In public and private debate, we retreat with haste to ad hominem attacks and identity politics, arguing against a point (or a person) instead of strongly advocating for our own view. One of most effective tactics is to claim that the opposing party is attempting to impose their religious beliefs on another. That argument is disingenuous on its face, because in all debate, one party hopes to convince the other of the merits of their worldview.Read Article

Moral Culpability in Vaccination

Sunset over a mountain range

In 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith was for clarification on whether or not Catholics could, in the course of practicing their faith, use the vaccinations for which there were no ethical alternatives.Read Article

Tie Goes to the Runner

Baseball players on the field

Baseball is an American tradition. There’s a great rule in baseball that helps umpires make the most difficult calls: tie goes to the runner.Read Article