Bioethics and Catholics
I attended a bioethics conference today hosted by a local group of evangelical Christian physicians who are keenly aware of the need for a pro-life stand in their practices and medicine in general. The guest speaker was a Christian physician and ethicist who provided a history of the eugenics movement in the US and then presented the latest information regarding pre-implantation genetic determinations. At one point she presented a quote from Evangelium Vitae (JP 2's Encyclical Letter on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life). It said life begins at conception. She put up a quote that some scientists draw a different line and "different lines exist regarding where life begins."
During the Q + A time, a physician bemoaned the fact that the "Christian medical establishment" doesn't do more to attempt to effect legislation regarding attempts at genetic manipulation, embryonic experimentation etc. The speaker politely agreed that there needed to be more organization and ability to affect change in this arena.
For me, the "elephant in the room" was the Catholic Church! For centuries the Church has established the "lines in the sand" regarding issues of life and in the past forty years produced some of the most important and weighty documents regarding bioethics particularly from JP2 with specific guidelines for pre-born life, in-vitro fertiliation and other infertility treatment, embryonic stem cell research, genetic manipulation, end of life issues etc. The Church has been at the forefront of the lobbying for pro-life legislation in the US as well as leading the March for Life and abortion mill protests throughout the country. There is a large body of Christian bioethics in the teachings of the Catholic Church that remains an unopened treasure of truth.
"all human life—from the moment of conception and through all subsequent stages—is created in the image and likeness of God. Nothing surpasses the greatness or dignity of a human person. Human life is not just an idea or an abstraction; human life is the concrete reality of a being that lives, that acts, that grows and develops; human life is the concrete reality of a being that is capable of love and of service to humanity." John Paul II
National Catholic Bioethics
Canadian Catholic Biothics Institute
Culture of Life Foundation
Catholic Medical Association
The Vatican Charter for Healthcare Workers
I encourage my colleagues to brave the waters and dip into this river of truth .