100 people gathered together on Saturday 21st March to spend the day thinking through topical issues in the area of medical ethics. The conference delegates were warned that it would not be an easy day with issues such as embryonic stem cell research, abortion and euthanasia on the agenda. This certainly turned out to be the case with six thought-provoking and valuable sessions. The day began with Andrew Cole presenting an overview of John’s gospel in answer to the question of why Christians should be interested in medical ethics. Following this, Megan Best looked at ethical issues at the beginning of life with a focus on when human life begins and the implications for embryonic stem cell research and abortion. Patrina Caldwell considered differences between medical research involving adults and children and some ethical implications, particularly for Christians, of medical research in children. John Dearin took us to the end of life and the hot topic of euthanasia. He emphasised the prominence of the concept of autonomy in the euthanasia debate. Mel Cusi presented on the importance, formation and role of the conscience, using the 2008 Victorian abortion legislation as a case study. The day concluded with Melinda Tankard Reist reminding us that approximately 80% of women who have had abortions wish that there could have been an alternative, sharing some heart-rending stories of women who have had abortions and encouraging delegates to be practically involved in helping women who would like to keep their babies.
We know there are many people who are interested in medical ethics who, for various reasons, were unable to join us for the day. We are hoping to make the talks available in some sort of audio-visual format and will let you know more about this asap.
Do you have a passion for educating the Christian public on issues in medical ethics? Would you like to see community discussions about bioethics more robust and informed? Do you wish you knew what to say when something like euthanasia comes up in conversation with your friends?
As a follow-up to our medical ethics conference, Dr Megan Best will be conducting training sessions later this year for those who would like to be able to give talks on Christian ethics at the beginning and/or end of life. Two evenings of training will be held at New College, UNSW and are open to all. Registration for each session will include an interactive education session, information regarding ongoing education resources, and a slide presentation on the topic for the registrant’s own use. Email us if you would like to hear more.
The world’s population is becoming increasingly urbanised. Cities are both the temporal home of over half the world’s population and the heavenly city of Jerusalem will be the eternal home of Christians. The latest edition ofCase considers some of the issues interwoven into city life in the here and now in light of both present-day and eternal realities. Topics are: ‘God in the city’, ‘Babel, Babylon and the Big Apple’ (New York), ‘Justice in the City’, ‘The Busy Christian’s Introduction to Busyness’ and ‘Name Unknown: Anonymity in the City’. There are also reviews of Clive Hamilton’s The Freedom Paradoxand an important book on sustainability: Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living by Nick Spencer and Robert White. We hope this is edition of Case will encourage readers to live and think more reflectively and biblically about city life.
Current CASE Associates should expect to receive Case 18 in the mail in the next few days. If you are not yet a CASE Associate please consider signing up - we hope it will be of benefit to both you and the continued growth of our work in Christian apologetics. CASE Associates receive four issues of Case magazine, discounts at CASE events and access to associates-only resources on our website (www.case.edu.au). The costs of CASE Associate membership are:
You can become a CASE Associate here.
In our CASE blog we seek to engage with issues and ideas that are relevant to contemporary life. We welcome your comments and feedback. Our latest blog posts are:
Professor Trevor Cairney Director, Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education (CASE)
New College, University of NSW, 2052. Ph: +61 2 9381 1999 F: +61 2 9381 1909.
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