Aims & Scope

Dennis M. Sullivan, M.D., M.A. (Ethics), Senior Editor

Advances in patient care and medical technology have revolutionized the modern practice of medicine, but have created a whole set of ethical questions as well. What does it mean to be human? Who owns the life that I live? How should we make clinical decisions for our families and loved ones, for our friends, and for our society?

To meet this challenge, faith-oriented healthcare professionals must be thoroughly convinced of their spiritual ideals and their commitment to the human dignity, but must also be comfortable with cultural engagement across competing worldviews. While committed to absolute truth, such individuals must be more nuanced in their articulation of it, and more familiar with a “multilingual” approach to cultural engagement.

Therefore, scholarly discussion among healthcare professionals from a variety of faith perspectives is imperative, for the medical marketplace is pluralistic. This should not be considered a barrier to effective management of ethically complex matters, for the spiritual dimension is where most of us live. Without recognizing this, we are left with what the late Richard John Neuhous called “the naked public square.” Excluding spiritually-informed considerations from the discussion impoverishes it, and may lead to outcomes not in the best interests of patients, their families, or our society in general.

Bioethics in Faith and Practice is a scholarly publication of the Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University. The focus of this new journal is Health Care Ethics, but it will also include articles of a more theoretical nature. Though it will emphasize Judeo-Christian values, we will be open to a large variety of voices, including secular ones. We welcome contributions from many disciplines, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law, chaplaincy, and social work. Theologians and other academic scholars are also included in this invitation.