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TH-MO-2205 Bioethics

Click here for the Course Syllabus.

Books to Buy

Students are not required to buy these texts, but they are responsible for having a copy for their sole use during the course. The Library provides a book exchange for students to pass on books they no longer need to other students, and is located in the library office. Please consider donating gently used textbooks. Identify any book to be dropped off for the swap so that they can be marked. Donation to the swap is not necessary to take books from it.

Recommended Texts

Recommended texts are those from which not enough reading assignments are drawn to warrant asking students to provide their own copies or those that instructors think will enhance a student’s appreciation of the subject matter of the course. Any reading assignments drawn from these texts will be available on reserve.

Electronic Reserve

Below are links to required or recommended texts available in an electronic format. For physical reserve items, please refer to the course syllabus.

United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 5th ed. (2009)
John Paul II, Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life) (1995)
John Paul II, “Life-Sustaining Treatments and the Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas” (2004) (On the “Vegetative State”)
John Paul II, “Address to the 18th Congress of the Transplant Society,” August 29, 2000, in National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 1.1 (Spring 2001) 89-92.
CDF documents:
(a) Dignitas Personae (On Certain Bioethical Questions) (2008)
(b) Donum vitae (Instruction on Respect for Human Life…) (1987).
(c) Declaration on Procured Abortion (1974).
(d) Declaration on Euthanasia (1981).
(e) “Responses to Certain Questions of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration” and “CDF’s Own Commentary” and “Brief Comments …,” Ethics & Medics, vol. 32, no. 11 (November 2007), 1-4; avail. at W. May, Catholic Bioethics (3rd ed), 279-285.
Pontifical Academy for Life, Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Uses of Human Embryonic Stem Cells (August 25, 2000)
Pontifical Academy for Life, Statement on the So-Called “Morning-After Pill” (Oct. 2000).
Pontifical Academy for Life, Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses (2005)
Germain Grisez, Difficult Moral Questions (Franciscan Press, 1997), Appendix 2, 871-897.
Maureen Condic, “When Does Human Life Begin? A Scientific Perspective,” Westchester Institute, 1-12.
Germain Grisez, “When do People Begin?” in Abortion: A New Generation of Catholic Responses (The Pope John Center, 1992), pp. 3-27.
Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, O.P., “On Static Eggs and Dynamic Embryos: A Systems Perspective,” National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 2.4 (Winter 2002), 659-683.
Maureen L. Condic, “A Comprehensive Primer on Stem Cells: Reviewing the Science and the Ethics,” Ethics & Medics, vol. 34, no. 8 (Aug. 2009).
E. Christian Brugger, “Stem Cell Research,” in Catholic Health Care Ethics, ed. Edward J. Furton (National Catholic Bioethics Center, 2009), ch. 6, pp. 80-85.
John Morris, “The Good News of Adult Stem Cell Research,” in Life and Learning XVII: Proceedings of the Seventeenth University Faculty for Life Conference (2007), ed. Joseph Koterski, S.J. (Washington, D.C.: University Faculty for Life, 2008), 307-324.
E. Christian Brugger, “A Defense by Analogy of Heterologous Embryo Transfer,” in Human Embryo Adoption: Biotechnology, Marriage, and the Right to Life, eds. Thomas Berg and Edward Furton (National Catholic Bioethics Center, 2006), 197-228.
John Finnis, Luke Gormally, “Symposium on Dignitas Personae,” National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Summer 2009.
G. Grisez, “May a researcher use tissues from deliberately aborted fetuses?”, Difficult Moral Questions (Quincy, IL: Franciscan Press, 1997), 385-388.
G. Grisez, “May a person work for an organization that funds research using fetal tissue?”, Difficult Moral Questions (Quincy, IL: Franciscan Press, 1997), 388-390.
Leon Kass, M.D., “Meaning of Life in the Laboratory,” from Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2002), pp. 81-117.
Alberto Giubilini & Francesca Minerva, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” Journal of Medical Ethics, May 2013 (39), 261-263.
Michael Tooley, “Philosophy, critical thinking and ‘after-birth abortion: why should the baby live?’”, J Med Ethics, 2013 (39), 266-272.
John Finnis, “Capacity, harm and experience in the life of persons as equals”, J Med Ethics, 2013 (39), 281-83.
Robert P George, “Infanticide and madness”, J Med Ethics 2013 (39), 299-301.
Grisez, “How should a physician advise possible carriers of genetic diseases?”, Difficult Moral Questions (Quincy, IL: Franciscan Press, 1997), 298-305
Christopher Kaczor (No) and Gerald Gleeson (Yes), “Is the ‘medical management’ of ectopic pregnancy by the administration of methotrexate morally acceptable?” from Issues for a Catholic Bioethics, pp. 353-370.
Albert S. Moraczewski, O.P., “Arguments in Favor of Salpingostomy and Methotrexate,” in Catholic Health Care Ethics, ed. E. J. Furton (NCBC, 2009), ch. 10, pp. 121-123.
G. Grisez, “What should a woman do about the possibility of being raped?” Difficult Moral Questions (Quincy, IL: Franciscan Press, 1997), 86-94
Thomas V. Berg, Marie T. Hilliard, Mark F. Stegman, “Emergency Contraceptives & Catholic Healthcare: A New Look at the Science and the Moral Question,” The Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person: White Paper, vol. 2, no. 1 (June 2011), 1-30.
Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, “Is Plan B an Abortifacient? A Critical Look at the Scientific Evidence,” The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Winter 2007), 703 – 707
P. Yeung, E. Laetham and J. Tham, L.C., “Argument Against the Use of Levonorgestrel in Cases of Sexual Assault,” in Catholic Health Care Ethics, ed. Edward J. Furton (NCBC, 2009), ch. 143-150; read also Peter Cataldo’s rebuttal, pp. 150-153 (rebuttal included in attached link).
C. Kahlenborn, J. Stanford and W. Larimore, “Postfertilization Effect of Hormonal Emergency Contraception,” The Annals of Pharmacology 36 (March 2002), 465-470.
Ron Hamel, “Rape and Emergency Contraception,” Ethics & Medics, vol. 28, no. 6 (June 2003).
Kevin T. McMahon, “Why Fear Ovulation Testing?” Ethics & Medics, vol. 28, no. 6 (June 2003)
Peter Ryan, “Symposium on Dignitas Personae,” National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Summer 2009.
Wesley J. Smith, “Assisted Suicide Is Not Compassion”, Charlotte Lozier Institute: American Reports Series, no. 9 (April 2015), 3-13
John Keown, “Ten Arguments for Decriminalization, in Debating Euthanasia,” in Debating Euthanasia, by Emily Jackson and John Keown (Oxford: Hart, 2012), 87-138.
Richard M. Doerflinger, “John Paul II on the ‘Vegetative State,’” in Artificial Nutrition and Hydration and the Permanently Unconscious Patient: The Catholic Debate, ed. Ronald Hamel and James Walter (Georgetown University Press, 2007), pp. 209-213.
Kevin O’Rourke, O.P., “On the Care of ‘Vegetative’ Patients,” Parts One and Two, Ethics & Medics 24.4-5 (April-May, 1999), pp. 3-4, 3.
Kevin O’Rourke, O.P., “Reflections on the Papal Allocution Concerning Care for Persistent Vegetative State Patients,” in The Catholic Debate (Georgetown University Press, 2007), pp. 237-253.
E. Christian Brugger (with Fourteen Catholic Ethicists), “Reply to the Jesuit Consortium,” Ethics & Medics, vol. 34, no. 6 (June 2009), pp. 3-6
Heidi Ledford, “CRISPR, the disruptor,” Nature, June 3, 2015
Brugger, “The Duties of Dying Christians,” Draft
Catholic Medical Association, “White Paper: The POLST paradigm and form: Facts and analysis,” The Linacre Quarterly, vol. 80, no. 2 (2013), 103–138
D. Alan Shewmon, M.D., “The Brain and Somatic Integration: Insights into the Standard Biological Rationale for Equating ‘Brain Death’ with Death,” in Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, vol. 26, no. 5 (2001), pp. 457-478.
E. Christian Brugger, “Are Brain Dead Individuals Dead? Grounds for Reasonable Doubt”, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 1-29, Advance Access published April 13, 2016; doi:10.1093/jmp/jhw003
Maureen L. Condic, “Determination of Death: A scientific perspective on biological integration” (unpublished draft)
Julian Huxley, “Transhumanism,” Journal of Humanistic Psychology (Spring 1968) 8: 73-76.
Nick Bostrom, “What is transhumanism?” Philosophy Papers (2001)
Nick Bostrom, “Transhumanist Values,” Journal of Philosophical Research 30 (Supplement) (2005), 3-14
Nick Bostrom, “Human genetic enhancements: A transhumanist perspective,” Journal of Value Inquiry 37 (4) (2003), 493-506
Francis Fukuyama, “Transhumanism,” Foreign Policy, Oct. 23, 2009.
Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu, “Moral Transhumanism,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2010) 35 (6): 656-669
Tom Koch, “Enhancing Who? Enhancing What? Ethics, Bioethics, and Transhumanism,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2010) 35 (6): 685-699