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May 22, 1996

Bioethics and the Future of Medicine: A Christian Appraisal

Author Affiliations

Loyola University Chicago Medical Center Maywood, Ill

JAMA. 1996;275(20):1608-1609. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530440088043

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There is an increasing backlash to secular bioethics today, and it will continue to grow. Evidence of this backlash is found in the creation of a new journal devoted to theologically recovering the sources of bioethics, and in religious institutes focusing on the losses of traditional Hippocratic conceptions of medicine and medicine's duties to patients caused by an ever-growing entrepreneurial spirit of medicine during the past 50 years. The editors and authors in this timely collection share a conviction that the postmodern and post-Christian era reconstructs human nature to fit its own ends—ends that are manipulative rather than healing. Persons and nature itself are made exceptionally vulnerable as a result.

Predictably, changes in practice inevitably create changes in understanding. Alterations in traditional medicine and the myriad cultural and philosophical responses to those alterations have raised recent concerns that traditional Judeo-Christian values and the Hippocratic commitment to the primacy of the