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Bioethikos: Bringing Life to Bioethics

Archive for January, 2015

 

CedarEthics: New Student Papers

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 by Dr. Heather Kuruvilla

writing

The Center for Bioethics announces the latest edition in our online journal of outstanding student bioethics papers: : CedarEthics, Volume 14, Number 1. The new issue features the following interesting papers:

Virtue Ethics and Abortion, by Jacob Countryman

A Grounded Natural Law, by Benjamin German

Charity as a Moral Duty, by Erica Graham

 

In addition, Erica Graham has written a special, longer article entitled: A Biblical Approach to Cadaveric Organ Transplants

 

All of these papers are available full-text at the Cedarville University Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/cedarethics/

NOTE: In the next edition of CedarEthics, we plan to open up for student submissions from across the Cedarville University campus, as well as from all of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. For more information, contact the Editor, at sullivan@cedarville.edu.

Persons Created in the Image of God

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 by Dr. Heather Kuruvilla

image of God

(by Dr. Heather Kuruvilla)

Lately, I have been asking myself an important question: do I truly believe that human persons are created in the image of God?  Or am I merely giving intellectual assent to this pivotal truth?

In the Creation-Fall-Redemption narrative of Scripture, our status as beings created in God’s image is foundational to our theology. It provides the foundation for rightly relating to our Creator and to our fellow man.  Far from being theoretical, our belief that human persons are created in God’s image should impact our daily lives in many practical ways.

  • It undergirds the Golden Rule and makes sense of the command to love our neighbor as ourselves.
  • It causes us to protect the defenseless among us, including the poor, the oppressed, the infirm, and the unborn.
  • It implores us to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

If I truly believe that my fellow humans are created in God’s image, my soul must not be content with holding life-affirming ethical views. Wholehearted belief should result in soul transformation.  My whole being should shrink from gossip, slander, or mistreatment of another human being, seeing these as insults to the Creator Himself. And as long as I live in this fallen world, I will continually wrestle to carry out this conviction, believing it to be God-given truth; truth that gives life and sets people free.

 

Believing that humans are persons created in the image of God should not only inform our ethical decisions. This truth, if acted upon, has the power to change the world.

Affirming Life Amid Chronic Pain

Monday, January 12th, 2015 by Dr. Dennis Sullivan

 

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(by Dr. Heather Kuruvilla)

Roughly 100 million Americans deal with chronic pain. The statistics belie an enormous economic and personal cost. Studies indicate that chronic pain remains undertreated, and in many cases, its causes are poorly understood.

There are plenty of resources online designed for chronic pain patients, their family and friends, and their physicians. My goal here is not to review the literature, though I will give you some resources for further reading. As a chronic pain patient, I wanted to summarize my personal experience, along what I have learned from fellow patients in online support groups.

  • We often feel misunderstood by our friends, families, and physicians.
  • We are at high risk for depression, and often experience physical symptoms, like fatigue. This can lead to social isolation, since there’s only so much our bodies will allow us to do.
  • We often do not look sick. We expend a great deal of energy trying to carry out normal functions, like caring for our families and contributing to our employers. In some cases, these functions aren’t even possible anymore, and we are forced to depend on others, not because we want to, but because our bodies just won’t allow us to do what we once did.
  • We encourage each other online and in “live” support groups. Interacting with others who are coping with similar challenges gives us the empathy that we may not be able to find from our physicians, family, and friends.
  • We are hopeful. We hope for better understanding of our conditions, and ultimately, for a cure. This hope can be a double-edged sword, however, as patients may be vulnerable to scams promising a “quick fix”.

How can we, as fellow humans, support those living with chronic pain in a way that affirms their dignity and worth?

  • Be compassionate. No one can truly know what another human being is dealing with.
  • Recognize signs of depression, and encourage chronic pain patients to get professional help, if needed.
  • If you know that a chronic pain patient is pursuing a medically risky treatment option, such as long-term fasting, a radical diet, or other behavior that appears to be unsafe, encourage them to check in with their healthcare provider.
  • Be a friend. Positive relationships help affirm meaning and purpose.

For additional information, these resources are a great place to start:

The American Chronic Pain Association

The American Pain Society

The National Pain Foundation