Last week was a bit of a whirlwind, and TWIB just didn’t get written. But I’m back with Five Items from the past couple of weeks.

1. Simply Put, We Need Your Support

As Jennifer wrote in her end-of-year letter, “our work stands out as a beacon of light for human dignity in a time of oppression against the marginalized and helpless. We are doing vitally important work in a space where very few others dare to tread.”

As but one example, Jennifer and I visited Spain this year with Kelly Martinez. Kelly was a surrogate for a couple in Spain, and was left with a pile of unpaid medical bills. We’re in the midst of making a film of Kelly’s story, which just this week made another splash in the Spanish press. Support our work today so we can finish our documentary sharing Kelly’s story to the world!

Here’s another example: This story is about a surrogate who reached out to us in desparation. We helped bring her story to public attention, connected her with legal and financial help, and more. Do yourself a favor: take 24 minutes and listen to the audio version of this report, “Expecting the Unexpected” by (the other) CBC. It’s a very important surrogacy story, and an excellent audio documentary. #Heartbreaking #Beautiful #Reality

2. Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics Announced  

The Center for Bioethics and Culture and the Paul Ramsey Award Nominating Committee are pleased to announce Farr A. Curlin, M.D. as the recipient of the 2018 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics. Dr. Curlin is Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine, and Co-Director of the Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School.

Dr. Gilbert Meilaender of the Paul Ramsey Award Nominating Committee said of Dr. Curlin’s selection for the 2018 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics:

Farr Curlin’s work both as clinician and moralist exemplifies nicely a theme accented in the writings of Paul Ramsey — namely, the way in which covenant fidelity marks the practice of medicine at its best. It would be hard to find a recipient of the Ramsey prize who better reflects that covenantal understanding of medicine.

2018 Paul Ramsey Award Dinner
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Diablo, California
Reserve Your Table Now
Meet and hear from Dr. Curlin
Sponsorship Opportunities Available

3. Bridging Generation Gaps

This was by far the most read, commented on, and shared item on our Facebook page this week. In Australia, high-school students are visiting with nursing home residents, listening to stories from their lives, and helping them write up memoirs. This is a terrific idea! What a great way to care for aging adults and connect young people with the wisdom and experience of those who have gone before.

4. Small But Mighty

Australian scholar, writer, activist Dr. Renate Klein has just published a new book on the practice of surrogacy. Our reviewer says, “anyone considering surrogacy should read this book…it is critical that we not blindly accept information provided by mainstream media, pharmaceutical companies, and those sure to gain monetarily from the practice of surrogacy.” Read the full review on our website. The book is available in both paperback and ebook.

5. The Paul Ramsey Institute Consultations are Bearing Much Fruit

Yet another reason for you to support our work here at the Center for Bioethics and Culture is the work we’re doing via our Paul Ramsey Institute Consultations. Here are two recent examples of the work Institute alums are doing to engage the issues of bioethics in the spirit of Paul Ramsey.

Paul Ramsey Institute Alum Sally Forsythe Crippen and her husband Zac interview Paul Ramsey Institute Scholar Dr. William Hurlbut about CRISPR, Gene Editing, and more. Have a listen to their podcast, Vernacular, Episode 63: ‘the one where we talk about CRISPR’.

Brian Green, an alum of our Paul Ramsey Institute, offers a helpful overview of issues to be considered in the development, implementation, and use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technologies.


Yes, Christmas is over commercialized. But many of us purchase and give gifts, some of which come through Amazon. You can support The CBC as you complete your holiday gift list. Use this link: You shop, Amazon donates. Thanks in advance!

PS: This is just a sampling of the items that have come across our screens over the past couple of weeks. To follow all of the things we highlight, be sure to follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

Image by dumbledad via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)