Friday, October 14, 2011

Bioethics Hall of Fame: Paul Ramsey Edition

Over at, Summer McGee has asked, "Who would you put in the bioethics hall of fame?"

So here's my first of many nominees: Paul Ramsey, author of Fabricated Man, Ethics at the Edges of Life, and The Patient as Person. He was one of the first-generation bioethicists who came, mostly, from moral theology backgrounds. Himself a Methodist, he is credited with having brought the Catholic doctrine of just war theory to the attention of mainstream Protestant ethicists. He is not, frankly, the easiest person to read; but his essays still repay careful attention, even when--or perhaps especially when--they wrestle with subjects about which most contemporary bioethicists have already reached consensus, e.g., cessation of life-sustaining treatment.

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