C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D., chair of the Paul Ramsey nominating committee and CBC Director said, ‘No one is more deserving of the Ramsey Award than Fr. Albert S. Moraczewski, O.P. A priest, scientist, ethicist, researcher, administrator, and spokesman for Catholic bioethics, Father Albert has spent his entire adult life thinking and writing about the nexus of science, medicine, biotechnology, and ethics. He was doing bioethics before it had a name.
I first met Father Albert during the 1995 controversies over human gene patents. I will always appreciate his wisdom, wit, and charm. He is a delight!’
Ethics and Technology, by Rev. Albert Moraczewski, O.P. (excerpt from ‘Life and Technology as Gifts’ by the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities 1989)
[How does ethics evaluate technology?] Some answer: a utilitarian ethic. But a utilitarian ethic judges technology by its products and by the criterion of the greatest good for the greatest number. How well is this product meeting a human need/ want? How efficiently is this product being made? Is it cost effective? That approach is unacceptable precisely because it fails to consider other values, other principles, such as technology’s relationship to human destiny. A Christian ethic, on the other hand, also considers basic human needs, for example, food, shelter, clothing, as well as social life, the family, education, and so on. But in addition, Christian ethics will consider what the teaching and life of Jesus have to say about the nature and purpose of human life. There is more to this life than meets the eye. ‘What you see is not necessarily what you get.’ Human life has a transcendent value from conception onwards.
Albert S. Moraczewski, O.P. held a postgraduate degree in Pharmacology, Theology, Philosophy, as well as Medicine. He was a Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Chicago and of Pharmacology at Baylor College of Medicine. In addition to numerous articles in scientific and theological journals, Fr. Albert edited two books on genetics: Genetic Counseling, The Church and the Law (1980) and Genetic Medicine and Engineering: Ethical and Social Dimensions (1983). Fr. Moraczewski was President Emeritus and Distinguished Scholar in residence at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, having served as its full-time president (1974-1979). In 1989 the Dominican Order awarded him its highest academic honor: Sacrae Theologiae Magister.
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