The Challenge of Bringing Bioethics into Ministry

Nathan D. Babcock, MDiv

Before I re-entered the full-time preaching ministry in October 2012, I was deeply engaged in thinking, reading, and writing about bioethics. For several years I had been living with one foot in the local church—preaching and pastoring—and the other foot in the Christian academy—pursuing my Master of Divinity and working for the seminary at which I was studying.

My seminary studies introduced me to bioethics and also spurred my passion for exploring it theologically. I delivered a paper on nanotechnology, wrote another on cognitive enhancement, became a member of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, and attended their annual conferences.

Me Before You and Physician-Assisted Suicide

Will Honeycutt, DMin

When an idea or concept needs a push in popular culture, Hollywood often makes a movie about it. With the power of emotional drama and a film score designed to tug at the heart, Hollywood has the power to advance ideas that we would otherwise reject on moral grounds. Its most recent attempt uses the book-to-movie love story Me Before You to create sympathy for and acceptance of euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS).

A Biblical View on the Sanctity of Life, Part 2

Joni Eareckson Tada

The Slippery Slope

Ten years ago Terri Schiavo, a severely disabled woman living in Florida, was starved to death—US courts upheld her husband’s decision that, in effect, Terri wouldn’t want to live this way, and so her life supports were removed. Many empathized with the court’s decision, stating that Terri was not mentally capable of expressing her wishes. As I sat in my wheelchair outside the hospice facility where Terri was dying, I knew it was a watershed moment that would jeopardize the lives of all Americans with disabilities.

A Biblical View on the Sanctity of Life, Part 1

Joni Eareckson Tada

The first time Dan Pollock and I bumped wheelchairs, I was taken aback by the severity of his paralysis and his thin, frail body. Dan was born with a significant neuromuscular disease, and some people have said that he’d be better off dead than disabled. But Dan is full of life. It troubles me when people say he’s suffering needlessly or that he is imprisoned in his body. Such phrases allege to be compassionate but reveal a fundamental fear that actually means, “I would hate to live like that.”