Christian Bioethics is a guidebook for pastors, health care professionals and families—anyone facing difficult decisions about health care. The following is an excerpt from the volume’s Introduction:
Phil and Sara have been happily married for two years. They are new Christians and have come to you for counseling because they were recently told they are infertile. Phil’s sperm production is very low, and the doctor told them that if all else failed, they could use donor sperm and IVF to get pregnant.
They had several immediate questions: what in the world is donor sperm? What do the letters I-V-F stand for? Once those questions were answered, they would either have to find a suitable sperm donor themselves or purchase sperm from an anonymous donor at a sperm bank where they are told they could choose from a catalog of possible donors in hopes of having a child who might have some of the physical characteristics of the donor such as hair color, height, body type, and so on. This would give them better “quality control,” as someone put it.
How would you counsel this couple? What emotional and spiritual issues are they likely to face? What ethical concerns do reproductive technologies, including sperm donation and in vitro fertilization, raise? Is the language of “quality control” problematic? Why or why not? Welcome to the real world of medical ethics. . . [T]hat’s the burden of this book: to help readers discover how biblical theology, Christian ethics, and contemporary science and medicine intersect in the real world where people are making life-changing decisions.
Download a sample chapter here.
About the Authors:
Ben Mitchell is Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and an ordained minister with pastoral experience. He received his Master of Divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his PhD in Philosophy with a concentration in Medical Ethics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. (Bioethics), is Executive Director of The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture in Brentwood, Tennessee, and also serves as ethics consultant for a Nashville, Tennessee, area hospital. Board certified in internal medicine, her writing and lecture topics include medical ethics, organ transplantation ethics, stem cell research, genetics, and assisted reproductive technologies.