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Recommended Reading in Bioethics

Jul 5, 2011

Daily headlines speak to the enormous impact the new bio-technologies are having on all of us. Whether it is a breakthrough in genetic engineering, stem cell research, or yet another new means in assisted reproductive technologies, science and technology are altering the very way in which we live.

But as is often the case, scientific breakthroughs may well outstrip moral advances. We assume that because we can do something we should do something. But wisdom and prudence may dictate slowing down a bit in the new technological breakthrough until we have had some time to consider the moral implications which are involved.

These books all seek to do just this. Most are written from the perspective of the Judeo-Christian worldview, and almost all put a premium on the sanctity of life and the importance of assessing the new bio-technologies in those terms.

Even acquiring a few of these volumes would help anyone concerned about where we are heading as a society to think more carefully and ethically about the new bioethical issues of our day. Also note that these are just general volumes on bioethics. Specific volumes on abortion and euthanasia are not included here. They will require their own separate bibliographies. Happy reading.

Anderson, Bruce, The Price of a Perfect Baby. Bethany House, 1980, 1984.

Anderson, Norman, Issues of Life and Death. InterVarsity Press, 1976.

Bell, Reed with Frank York, Prescription Death: Compassionate Killers in the Medical Profession. Huntington House, 1993.

Bevington, Linda, et. al., Basic Questions on Genetics, Stem Cell Research, and Cloning. Kregel, 2004.

Black, Edwin, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race. Four Walls Eight Windows, September, 2004.

Breck, John and Lyn, Stages on Life’s Way: Orthodox Thinking on Bioethics. St Vladimir’s Press, 2006.

Bryant, John and John Searle, Life in our Hands: A Christian Perspective on Genetics and Cloning. InterVarsity Press, 2004.

Cameron, Nigel de S., The New Medicine: Life and Death After Hippocrates. Crossway Books, 1991.

Cameron, Nigel de S., ed., Bioengagement. Eerdmans, 2000.

Colson, Charles and Nigel de S. Cameron, eds., Human Dignity in the Biotech Century. InterVarsity Press, 2004.

De Marco, Donald, Biotechnology and the Assault on Parenthood. Ignatius Press, 1991.

Demy, Timothy and Gary Stewart, eds., Genetic Engineering. Kregel, 1998.

Dixon, Patrick, The Genetic Revolution. Kingsway, 1993.

Eareckson Tada, Joni and Nigel Cameron, How To Be a Christian in a Brave New World. Zondervan, 2006.

Evans, Debra, Without Moral Limits: Women, Reproduction and the New Medical Technology. Crossway Books, 1989.

Fisher, Anthony, IVF: The Critical Issues. Collins Dove, 1989.

Foreman, Mark, Christianity and Bioethics. College Press Publishing, 1999.

Fournier, Keith and William Watkins, In Defense of Life. NavPress, 1996.

Frame, John, Medical Ethics: Principles, Persons and Problems. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1988.

Fumento, Michael, Bioevolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World. Encounter Books, 2003.

Hui, Edwin, At the Beginning of Life. InterVarsity Press, 2002.

Jones, D. Gareth, Designers of the Future. Monarch Books, 2005.

Kass, Leon, Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity. Encounter Books, 2002.

Kass, Leon, Toward a More Natural Science: Biology and Human Affairs. The Free Press, 1985.

Kilner, John, Life on the Line: Ethics, Aging, Ending Patients’ Lives, and Allocating Vital Resources. Eerdmans, 1992.

Kilner, John and C. Ben Mitchell, Does God Need Our Help? Tyndale House, 2003.

Kilner, John, et.al, eds., Bioethics and the Future of Medicine: A Christian Appraisal. Eerdmans, 1995.

Kilner, John, et.al. eds., The Changing Face of Health Care. Eerdmans, 1998.

Kilner, John, et.al. eds., Cutting-Edge Bioethics. Eerdmans, 2002.

Kilner, John, et.al. eds., Genetic Ethics. Eerdmans, 1997.

Kilner, John, et.al. eds., The Reproductive Revolution. Eerdmans, 2000.

Land, Richard and Louis Moore, eds., Life at Risk: The Crises in Medical Ethics. Broadman and Holman, 1995.

Lester, Lane and James Hefley, Human Cloning. Revell, 1998.

McKibben, Bill, Enough: Staying Human in an Endangered Age. Henry Holt, 2003.

Meilaender, Gilbert, Bioethics: A Primer for Christians. Eerdmans, 1996.

Messer, Neil, ed., Theological Issues in Bioethics. Darton, Longman and Todd, 2002.

Moore, Pete, Babel’s Shadow. Lion, 2000.

Nelson, J. Robert, On the New Frontiers of Genetics and Religion. Eerdmans, 1994.

Orr, Robert, David Biebel and David Schiedermayer, Life and Death Decisions. Baker, 1990.

Orr, Robert, David Biebel and David Schiedermayer, More Life and Death Decisions. Baker, 1990.

Overduin, Daniel and John Fleming, Life in a Test-tube: Medical and Ethical Issues Facing Society Today. Lutheran Publishing House, 1982.

Peterson, James, Genetic Turning Points. Eerdmans, 2001.

Preece, Gordon, ed., Rethinking Peter Singer. InterVarsity Press, 2002.

Rae, Scott, Brave New Families: Biblical Ethics and Reproductive Technologies. Baker, 1996.

Rae, Scott and Paul Cox, Bioethics. Eerdmans, 1999.

Ramsey, Paul, Ethics at the Edges of Life. Yale University Press, 1978.

Smith, Wesley, Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World. Encounter Books, 2004.

Smith, Wesley, Culture of Death.  Encounter Books, 2000.

Thobaben, James, Health-Care Ethics: A Comprehensive Christian Resource. InterVarsity Press, 2009.

VanDrunen, David, Bioethics and the Christian Life. Crossway, 2009.

Waters, Brent, This Mortal Flesh: Incarnation and Bioethics. Brazos, 2009.

Wyatt, John, Matters of Life and Death. InterVarsity Press, 1998.

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4 Responses to Recommended Reading in Bioethics

  • Also see “Bioethics Today” by David S. Oderberg. He has some scathing but apt indictment of the bioethics industry;

    http://www.reading.ac.uk/AcaDepts/ld/Philos/dso/papers/Bioethics%20Today.pdf

    Damien Spillane

  • I suspect the problem isn’t that science gets ahead of “moral advances”– it’s more that secular scientists leave moral concerns behind, as they seek to make man the measure of of all things. Of course this leads to poor judgement, “man’s inhumanity to man”, and outright immoral decisions/application of scientific “knowledge”.

    Even more reason why we should be aware of the moral implications of scientific “advances”. We certainly can’t trust the scientists with it.

    Ronin Akechi

  • Most of those authors are Christian and so are some of the publishing houses. Yet more evidence that Christianity is still a moral force to be reckoned with.

    John Snowden

  • I was grateful to see three InterVarsity Press books on your list above, Bill. And another author from the UK who has IVP connections. Same with the at least two books (Kreeft and Alcorn) on the abortion book reading list you have elsewhere on your blog.

    Sometimes, like in USA election years, I forget that we published these too, in all the apparent rush to be relevant in all the politically correct, university affirming and approved ways. Sometimes we need reminding of who we are and the importance of being such also in the public square.

    I think the converse when not called hypocrisy was once called ‘worldliness’. Thanks again for these lists. I linked them on a Facebook post on abortion and postmodern coercive power at Princeton, on my Facebook. God bless you!

    Joe Whitchurch, US

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