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February 6, 2014

The Center for Bioethics is happy to announce the latest edition in our online journal of outstanding student bioethics papers. For example, honors student Michelle Frazer asks the intriguing medical ethics question: “Should a desire for converts influence end-of-life ethics?” She writes:

Does a person have hope of salvation right up until the moment of death . . . or does that hope disappear earlier? In addressing this question, I am working from the assumption that there is no chance of salvation after death. Therefore, the issue becomes the following question: “When can a person no longer communicate with God?” For example, can an individual in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) who presumably has no autonomous brain function, still communicate with the divine? Does allowing one in PVS to die (say by starvation), interfere with the possibility of a change in his or her eternal destination?

You can read Michelle’s fascinating discussion of this idea in her paper:
End of Life and Saving Souls: Should a Desire for Converts Influence End-of-life Ethics?

This and other excellent papers, as well as winners from earlier years, are available at the website: CederEthics Online.

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