Disputes in Bioethics is the most recent book by Christopher Kaczor, who has published one of the strongest cases for the pro-life position you can find in print (which has even been endorsed by pro-choice philosopher David Boonin). This book takes a more general approach to bioethics. It addresses some of the more well-worn topics with this field, such as abortion and euthanasia, but he also addresses questions that those who don’t follow the academic discourse would even think are questions, such as: do children have a right to be loved by their parents?; is it permissible to make children with more than two genetic parents?; and what even is human dignity? Even among the well-worn subjects, Kaczor tackles questions which many people don’t tend to think about, such as is abortion simply the right to remove the fetus or does the woman who aborts her pregnancy have a right to the death of the fetus itself? is Roe v. Wade unquestionably correct? and is “death with dignity” a dangerous euphemism?
Kaczor’s book is written in small, bite-sized chunks, which is due primarily to most of the chapters being reprints of articles he’s published in academic journals. While the book does get a bit technical in a few parts, it is written accessibly so that just about anyone should be able to understand it on their first read-through.
This book is worth picking up because Kaczor examines the academic literature on a number of questions that most people don’t even realize are being asked in academia. There are chapters which will benefit even people without a specific interest in the field because things like abortion and euthanasia may affect us all at some point in our lives. Additionally, his chapter Do Children Contribute to the Flourishing of Their Parents? is worth the price of the book, itself. Considering that in our current culture, fewer people are having children and more people are wondering why they should even have children in the first place. Kaczor provides an excellent apologetic for why we ought to continue having children.
For the reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph, this book is worth picking up whether or not you have an interest in bioethics.