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Princeton prof discusses 21st century ethics in medicine

JACKSON, Tenn.Sept. 5, 2002 – National bioethics council member Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, addressed some of the serious ethical issues in question in the health and medical fields in a Union chapel held in September. In his address, George covered a variety of current hot topics in the fields today, such as the debate over stem cell research and human cloning.

On the topic of stem cell research, George stated that the topic is so entrenched in politics, the council he is on cannot even agree on the issue, adding that “members of the council are not of a single mind on these things.” He also said that there is a “clash of orthodoxies” that exists in the council today.

George pointed out that despite the positive things being said about the possibilities of healing the stem cells could provide, no one has been cured of anything yet from this research. He explained that it is vitally important for Christians in the field of medical science to take on their secular counterparts in order to defend their Christian faith.

“We have to be willing to take on the argument for those with whom we disagree,” George said. “We must be marked by our willingness to learn, but we must also give our reasons for our faith that we hold, and above all, those teachings about the moral life that is integral to our faith.”

Union University, in George’s opinion, is an institution that upholds the same ideals as far as integrating faith and learning.

“This university represents what is the central meat in my opinion in academic life – the critical engagement of Christian intellectuals with the broader culture. It is central to the mission of the church, and for the great good of the church.”

By Tracie Holden, Class of 2004

Media contact: Sara B. Horn, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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