Here’s a New Year’s prediction. The world’s biggest-selling bioethics book this year will not be written by anyone from the University of Pennsylvania, Oxford, Harvard or Monash. It will be A Student’s Guide to Bioethics, produced by the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, in Paris, at the request of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life. It has been translated into French, Portuguese, English and Spanish and two million copies are being printed -- a respectable number for a bioethics text.
The 70-page book will be distributed to pilgrims to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in July – an event which takes place every three years and is probably the biggest youth gathering in the world.
It has eight chapters which cover “the story of a little human being”, abortion, prenatal diagnosis, medically assisted procreation, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, embryo research, euthanasia, organ donation and gender theory.
No prizes for guessing what position the book takes on these issues. But with two million potential readers it might have a big impact on the next generation of bioethicists.
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