The Ascomb Bioethics Center (UK) has announced the publication of The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth: Exploring Moral Choices in Childbearing by Dr Helen Watt, Senior Research Fellow at the center. This book addresses the unique moral questions raised by pregnancy and its intimate bodily nature. From assisted reproduction to abortion and ‘vital conflict’ resolution to more everyday concerns of the pregnant woman, the book argues for pregnancy as a close human relationship with the woman as guardian or custodian. If the status of the fetus is conclusive for at least some moral questions raised by pregnancy, so too are facts about its bodily relationship with, and presence in, the woman who supports it. The pregnant woman is not a mere ‘neighbor’ or helpful stranger to the fetus but is rather already in a real familial relationship bringing real familial rights and obligations.
The purpose of the National Catholic Bioethics Center (USA) is to help health care providers and their patients navigate complex medical issues through informed decisions based on the fullness of Catholic doctrine. Their newest publication, Bioethics across the Life Span, edited by Marilyn E. Coors, was created specifically for the reader who is not a specialist. The 174-page volume serves as a rapid-fire overview of the field of modern bioethics, especially as bioethical issues touch on daily life. The Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., calls it a “volume that will be of tremendous assistance to those who study Catholic bioethics.” Each chapter highlights a particular and practical issue, surveying a wide range of topics, including stem cell research, organ donation, and the ethical use of vaccines.