Intersections

Plagues, Parables, and Pundits (Part 1)

by: 
Michael Cox, PhD (Candidate)

Terrible, too, was the sight of people dying like sheep through having caught the disease as a result of nursing others. This indeed caused more deaths than anything else. For when people were afraid to visit the sick, then they died with no one to look after them . . . . The bodies of the dying were heaped one on top of the other, and half-dead creatures could be seen staggering about in the streets or flocking around the fountains in their desire for water.[1]

Life with Borders

by: 
Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., PhD

It’s already too late to start debating whether or not scientists should clone a mammal. As is commonly known, that is precisely what scientists did in Scotland back in 1997 when they cloned an adult sheep named “Dolly.”

Dolly’s clone was not easily conceived, for it took researchers 277 attempts before they produced 29 embryos that survived longer than six days. Even then, only one lamb was born as a result! And here is where the ethical implications begin to appear, for if a similar ratio of human embryos were used in an attempted human cloning, the loss of human life would be morally unconscionable.

Dying with Dignity

by: 
Megan Best, BMed (Hons), MAAE

Bills to change the law to allow euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide continue to be presented to parliaments throughout the western world, on a wave of overwhelming public support for “the right to choose and have a dignified death.” While it is unlikely the debate will go away, we can still hope for a more honest one.

Sadly, promotion of assisted death often has its origins in a personal tragedy. Many of those who lobby most strongly for a change in the law have experienced the difficult passing of a loved one. While services such as palliative care and hospice can do much to relieve the distress dying people experience, many still do not have access to it. We must do better.

The Hope and Hype of Medicine and Technology

by: 
Susan M. Haack, MD, MA, MDiv, FACOG

Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen — yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.[1]

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