In June 2024, Pickwick Publications released the notable volume, Taking Persons Seriously: Where Philosophy and Bioethics Intersect, co-edited by EPS members and Philosophia Christi contributors, Mihretu P. Guta and Scott B. Rae.

From the publisher’s description:

This volume attempts to show why ontology matters for a proper grasp of issues in bioethics. Contemporary discussions on bioethics often focus on seeking solutions for a wide range of issues that revolve around persons. The issues in question are multi-layered, involving such diverse aspects as the metaphysical/ontological, personal, medical, moral, legal, cultural, social, political, religious, and environmental. In navigating through such a complex web of issues, it has been said that the central problems philosophers and bioethicists face are ethical in nature. In this regard, biomedical sciences and technological breakthroughs take a leading role in terms of shaping the sorts of questions that give rise to ethical problems. For example, is it ethical to keep terminally ill patients alive on dialysis machines or artificial ventilators? Is it ethical to take someone’s vital organs upon death and transplant them into another person’s body without any prior consent from the deceased person? Reproductive techniques also raise complicated ethical issues involving in vitro fertilization, contraceptives, prenatal testing, abortions, and genetic enhancements. Moreover, biomedical issues raise ethical problems regarding research on human subjects, stem cell research, and enhancement biotechnology. The beginning and end of life issues bring up their own complicated ethical conundrums involving, among other things, terminating life support and euthanasia. This book approaches such complex bioethical questions by engaging in ground-level debates about the ontology of persons. This is a nonnegotiable first step in taking steps forward in seeking a plausible solution(s) for the complex ethical problems in bioethics.

Current EPS President, Michael Austin, says of the book, “To reach sound conclusions about bioethical issues, we need a proper understanding of the nature of human persons. This collection of essays will be helpful to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of what human persons are, why they matter, and the ways such an understanding should guide our approach to theory and practice in bioethics.”

Gupta currently teaches philosophy at Biola University and Azusa Pacific University. He is an associate fellow of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity at Trinity International University. Rae is senior advisor to the president at Biola University, dean of faculty, and professor of Christian ethics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He is a fellow of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and the Wilberforce Forum.

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