Total brain death is a valid criterion for pronouncing the death of human beings.
To its detriment, Howard Ball’s new book on end-of-life law focuses more on the emotions and biases of the law’s defenders than on law’s history and content.
Science can and should help determine sound public policy on matters that involve basic human rights.
Richard Mourdock’s comment didn’t imply that God wills rape; instead, it reminds us that God wills a great good in the coming-to-be of any human life, regardless of the evil circumstances surrounding its conception.
Young women now have to defend themselves not only from stereotypical sexual predators, but also from older women and gay men who seek their eggs.
The question of surrogacy has always been more about us than about the participants in the relationship. Will we use the power of the people to take a child from the arms of her mother when the mother is perfectly fit, loves her child, and desires to discharge her duties to her child?
Governor Christie’s recent veto of a “gestational” surrogacy bill should prompt us to look at the legal history of surrogacy and the terrible injustices that it causes.
A new effort to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in Massachusetts reminds us that we are not our own to dispose of at will.
Governor Christie’s recent veto of a bill that would lower restrictions on gestational surrogate mothers should prompt us to consider surrogacy’s harmful effects on mothers and children.
A report from The Witherspoon Council, a newly-formed bioethics body, argues that even the noblest aspirations of the scientific enterprise must be guided by ethics and governed under political authority.
Calling fetuses defective if they are prenatally diagnosed with genetic conditions foreshadows a dangerous path toward eugenics.
A faulty understanding of conscience as an instrument of subjective preferences and feelings is fueling efforts to undermine conscience protection for doctors who oppose abortion and provision of contraceptives.
Melinda Gates and the Family Planning Summit will waste 4.6 billion dollars on contraception for women in third world countries instead of addressing the educational and healthcare-related challenges pregnant mothers face.
Unlike civil rights advocates of the 1960s, pro-life and pro-choice activists can be ambivalent about their causes because they are torn between their reason and their sentiments.
Wordsworth denounces those who reduce human worth to utility and teaches us that the goodness of being is absolute. We must learn to love those incomparably useless and precious beings, the child, the elderly, the unborn, and the dying, because they and we are one.
The failure to grasp the implications of intrinsic human worth plagues arguments for physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.
National Down syndrome organizations should partner with medical organizations and testing laboratories that develop and profit from prenatal testing even while they fight for their accountability.
If advocacy efforts surrounding prenatal diagnosis focus only on the goal of informed decision-making, and the majority of even well-informed parents still decide to terminate, can we really deem that advocacy successful?
Social activists opposed to the use of HEK-293—a kidney cell line derived from an aborted baby—in PepsiCo products should not respond with shareholder activism, because it wreaks political and economic havoc.
The negative side-effects of contraception are often ignored in our public discourse, but a truly free decision to use or not use them—and whether to use government to promote them—depends on a frank acknowledgement of their costs along with their alleged benefits.
Unless regulations and laws are changed, there will be fewer people with Down syndrome to celebrate on future World Down Syndrome Days, making this year the high water mark of lives with Down syndrome.
Whether we call it infanticide or after-birth abortion, ending the life of newborns kills human beings who are moral persons because they are rational beings.
Artificial testosterone and estrogen use harms both individuals and society.
The challenge in preventing abortion of Down syndrome fetuses is not convincing mothers that their child is a human being with a right to life, but of assuring expectant mothers there will be support for their children after they are born.
The fertility industry is booming because we desire genetic and memetic immortality—the preservation and reproduction of our bodies and ways of life.
No one can be rightly coerced by the state to be directly complicit in the commission of a wrong. This goes for any businessman, employer, insurance company, or individual, regardless of faith.
From its ancient Stoic origins to its modern Kantian formulations, human dignity is an important concept for sound ethical thinking. We must distinguish dignity as attributed, dignity as intrinsic worth, and dignity as flourishing.
39 years ago, the Supreme Court delivered a radical, legally untenable, immoral decision. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the people.
Aiding the deliberate destruction of human life has no place in the doctor’s job description.
A new biography of Margaret Sanger fails to confront the Planned Parenthood founder’s ideological commitment to eugenics and population control.
A new Down syndrome test raises important questions.
Think overpopulation, poverty, climate change, and abortion can all be solved by more birth control? Think again.
Four points in defense of human dignity. Adapted from an address delivered last night at the University of Pennsylvania.
New research on Down syndrome presents an overwhelmingly positive picture of how Down syndrome can affect individuals and families. These findings need to be shared as they will affect decisions made to accept prenatal testing and following a prenatal diagnosis.
A recent rule issued by the Obama administration threatens our nation’s healthcare by attacking the consciences of our nation’s healthcare providers.
As the proponents of assisted suicide strive to legalize it in Massachusetts, we should take another look at their arguments and the deceptions therein.
Prenatal testing for Down syndrome should not be considered preventive medicine. Such tests cannot prevent the presence of Down syndrome in a child; but they can decrease the likelihood of a child with Down syndrome surviving beyond the womb. Expectant parents need accurate information, including the many positive outcomes, about life raising a child with Down syndrome.
As the call for freedom advances in Muslim-majority countries, we have good reason to be optimistic that religious freedom will increase as well.
Those who care for the severely disabled and dependent testify to our sense that they are part of the human community.
Prominent bioethicists Arthur Caplan and Robert P. George on the role of bioethics in a democracy and the dangers of eugenics.
Prominent bioethicists Arthur Caplan and Robert P. George on the danger of discounting ethics and overselling science.
One scientist’s flawed argument for flawless humans.
Though recent progress in induced pluripotent stem-cell research may reduce reliance on embryonic stem cells, it is no moral panacea.
The science of fetal pain remains uncertain, but we still have a duty to avoid the possibility of inflicting undue suffering.
In an article adapted from his debate last week with Peter Singer and Maggie Little on the moral status of the “fetus,” Professor Finnis explains that outside of medical contexts use of the word “fetus” is offensive, dehumanizing, prejudicial, and manipulative. It obscures our perception of moral reality. Moral status is not a matter of choice or grant or convention, but of recognition, of someone who matters, and matters as an equal, whether we like it or not.
Accepting the “liberal” definition on pregnancy can actually help clarify the morality of contraception, abortion, and embryo adoption.
An Executive Summary of the Statement of the First Annual Neuhaus Colloquium.
Obama’s stem-cell policy is not only contrary to sound reason and good science, it violates the law.
The latest decision from our judicial overlords on same-sex marriage spells trouble for republican constitutionalism and the institution of marriage.
The fiftieth anniversary of oral contraceptives is a reminder of all the things the Pill lets us forget.