What are Book Recommendations on Medical Ethics and Bioethics from a Christian Perspective?

Hi Logan!

Thanks for the work you are doing and will continue to do. I am a medical student in the US and we are beginning to study medical ethics. After reading the first chapter of our book “Clinical Ethics: A Practical Approach to Ethical Decisions in Medicine,” I realized that many of the ideas in there (namely, assisted suicide, medical futility) do not align with Christian ethics and I was wondering if you could recommend a book or two on Christian ethics, Christian medical ethics and/or bioethics from a Christian perspective. Thanks in advance!

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Dear Gabrielle,

I’m so encouraged you’re wanting to bring your studies alongside your faith. We have such a need for Christians who understand the medical field from the inside to lead us as the Church in thinking through these tough questions. Because I’m not an expert on these questions, I reached out to a friend of our ministry who is also currently a medical student, and who has given a lot of thought to these questions. He gave me permission to share what he wrote with you here:

"It’s hard to recommend a single book on Christian (bio)ethics. One of the best places to begin would be The Public Discourse website, in their archives on bioethics articles. Their stances on contemporary issues are generally very sound, though usually argued from a “philosophical” rather than a “theological” perspective (which actually may be helpful from a medical student’s perspective).

For an excellent overview of what it means to practice medicine as a Christian (though mostly devoid of specific bioethical issues like abortion), there are two books by the great Edmund Pellegrino and David Thomasma, The Christian Virtues in Medical Practice and Helping and Healing: Religious Commitment in Health Care.

Specific book recommendations depend on the topic. The best book I’ve read on understanding the Christian historical and theological position against assisted suicide is sadly out of print, but readily available from AbeBooks, Darrel Amundsen’s A Different Death."

I might also add, on the issue of assisted suicide, Vaughan Roberts has written a book on that topic (though as a pastor, not a physician), which I have not read, but which I imagine would be solid and helpful.

Hope that’s helpful Gabrielle. May the Lord bless your studies and give you great wisdom in living out your vocation as a follower of Christ. So thankful you’re doing what you’re doing!

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