Christian Bioethics: Ideas and Perspectives


The Abortion in Soviet Russia During NEP: Official Propaganda versus Popular Attitudes

This paper studies the attitudes of the Soviet authorities and society towards the problem of abortion during the New Economic Policy (NEP). In the 1920s, communist ideologists and population still under influence of traditional values based on religious ethics (though often indifferent towards religion and Church) expressed extremely different views on the issue. Even religiously indifferent people used to take part in religious ceremonies such as weddings and christenings.

Sex, Abortion, and Infanticide: The Gulf between the Secular and the Divine

This paper critically explores key aspects of the gulf between Christian bioethics and the secular moral reflections that dominate contemporary bioethics. For example, in contrast to traditional Christian morality, the established secular bioethics judges extramarital sex acts among consenting persons, whether of the same or different sexes, as at least morally permissible, affirms sexual freedom for children to develop their own sexual identity, and holds the easy availability of abortion and infanticide as central to the liberty interests of women.

Moral Status of Human Embryo in Inter-Christian Context

The article offers an analysis of approaches of different Christian confessions to understanding of the moral status of human embryo in the context of modern biomedical developments. It compares challenges faced by the proponents of each denominational position and their arguments. According to documents and papers of the theologians there are at least three specific positions in relation to moral status of early human embryo: conservative, liberal and indefinite. The author focuses on arguments of such liberal Protestant authors as T. Peters, R. Cole-Turner and J.

Between Ethics and Physiology: Wet Nurses in the Russian Society of the Late 19th — Early 20th Centuries

The article addresses a number of issues related to the profession of wet nurses in pre-Revolutionary Russia. This topic is particularly relevant in connection with the current discussion of the alienation of women’s reproductive function. According to infant care manuals, while choosing a wet nurse, doctors recommended that mothers consider not only physical aspects, but also ethical issues. However, in practice, the ethics receded into the background. Wet nurses were used in almost all families that had reached a certain financial and social status.

Ethical Dilemmas of Surrogacy: Christian Discourse in Contemporary Socio-Cultural Context

The article assesses bioethical issues of surrogacy from а Christian perspective and the possibility of adopting a cryopreserved embryo in the current socio-cultural context. Pregnancy of an adopting woman represents only a visible, technical similarity to the surrogacy; it is now commonly called “snowflake adoption.” In fact, such a pregnancy implies a different meaning and different goals.

How Far Can We Go with Medically Assisted Reproduction? (Comments to the Conclusions of the National Advisory Committee on Ethics)

One of France’s leading bioethics experts discusses the debate around assisted reproductive technologies, in particular, the issue of legal access to such technologies for single women and same-sex female couples. The author offers his detailed — and mostly critical — commentary on the advisory documents, issued by the “National Ethics Advisory Committee”, a special body created to publicly discuss issues of bioethics legislation.

The Christian Foundations of Fritz Jahr’s Concept of Bio-Ethik and Contemporary Central European Perspective

The article presents the concept of Bio-Ethik by the German theologian Fritz Jahr (1895–1953) and discusses the reasons of the interest to his legacy in Central Europe. The popularity of Fritz Jahr’s works fits into the specific context of a complex development of bioethics in Central Europe at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Bioethics and the Culture Wars

The term “culture wars” has been used to describe deep, apparently intractable, disagreements between groups for many years. In contemporary discourse, it refers to disputes regarding significant moral matters carried out in the public square and for which there appears to be no way to achieve consensus or compromise. One set of battle lines is drawn between those who hold traditional Christian commitments and those who do not. Christian bioethics is nested in a set of moral and metaphysical understandings that collide with those of the dominant secular culture.

Moral Content, Tradition, and Grace: Rethinking the Possibility of a Christian Bioethics

Birth, suffering, disability, disease and death were by medicine’s successes placed within a context of seemingly novel challenges that cried out for new responses. Secular bioethics rose in response to the demands of these new biomedical technologies in the context of a culture fragmented in moral pluralism. While secular bioethics promised to unite persons separated by diverse religious and moral assumption, this is a promise that could not be fulfilled.

From “Bioethics” to “Christian Bioethics”: Significance of H.T. Engelhardt’s Legacy in Today’s Russia

A perception of “Christian bioethics” developed by the American philosopher Hugo Tristram Engelhardt in Russia requires a systematic interdisciplinary analysis. This is due to the realities of medical practice, as well as cultural and historical differences between the Russian and American societies. In Russia, there are certain difficulties in the open discussion of ethical issues in the public sphere.