I’ve been involved with the multidisciplinary scholarly association University Faculty for Life (uffl.org) since 1995 (and have been a member of its Board of Directors since 2000 and an officer since 2005). At our annual conference last week (this year at Mundelein seminary outside of Chicago), as part of a panel on prenatal diagnosis of conditions like Down Syndrome (the other panelists were ob/gyn Jim Linn, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and philosopher Tom Cavanaugh, PhD, of the University of San Francisco), I presented a paper, “Professing the Gift of Life: Responding to Requests for Genetic Testing in Early Pregnancy.”
Here is a brief summary:
Health care providers have two reasons to be cautious about offering early prenatal genetic testing, as is now the ‘standard of care’ and desired by many parents. (1) Doing so can easily constitute proximate material cooperation with the great evil of abortion. (2) More deeply, and even when parents are not abortion-minded, it can be at odds with the medical ‘profession’ of the great good of human life as a pure gift from God the Creator. Providers should therefore make such testing available only when it is specifically needed to offer better care if a baby is found to have a genetic anomaly. They should adhere to this limit even if it might involve conscientious objection to the policies of “professional” bodies or the state, and should be prepared to offer parents some psychological and spiritual assistance in coping with their uncertainties and fears.
The full paper will be available online in the conference Proceedings later this summer.
Franciscan University of Steubenville’s moral theologian, Dr. Kevin Miller, is well versed in today’s key moral issues including abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, capital punishment, human cloning, and homosexual “marriage,” and other moral issues that sometimes place Catholic values at odds with the popular culture. In addition to his PhD in religious studies from Marquette University, Kevin has a master’s in political science and a bachelor’s in molecular biology—so he is grounded in the political and scientific aspects of these issues, and the Catholic Church’s teachings, all of which he can present in down-to-earth language. Additionally, he is a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the multidisciplinary scholarly association University Faculty for Life.