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ss triple helix - Christmas 2011,  Fertility and gender

Fertility and gender

Issues in reproductive and sexual ethics
Edited by Helen Watt
Oxford - Anscombe Bioethics Centre 2011-08-27
£15.95 Pb 220pp
ISBN 978 0 906561 12 6

This book contains the proceedings of an international conference 'Fertility, Infertility and Gender' held in Maynooth, Ireland in 2010 by the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics (now the Anscombe Bioethics Centre). Its thirteen chapters cover contributions which will be of interest to Christian doctors such as: Fertility, Celibacy and the Biblical Vindication of Marriage, Psychological Issues in Gender Identity and Same-Sex Attraction, Teenage Pregnancy, STIs and Abstinence Strategies, Population Growth and Population Control, Contraception, Moral Virtue and Technology, Condoms and HIV Transmission, Motherhood, IVF and Sexual Ethics. Authors include philosophers, psychologists theologians and priests.

Although Scripture is quoted, the underlying authorities are Papal Encyclicals especially Humanae Vitae (1968). This makes it of especial value to Roman Catholic Doctors. As an evangelical I find it difficult to accept its teaching that contraception within marriage is always wrong and sinful and that 'faithful compliance with natural law is necessary for eternal salvation' (Pope Paul VI). I think Fertility & Faith by Brendan McCarthy (IVP 1997) has a more biblical foundation and will be more helpful to CMF members.

Stephen Browne is a GP in Birmingham.

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