RUSSLR, the Ethics Centre of South Australia (ECSA) and ATF Press are pleased to announce the launch of Issues at the Borders of Life, edited by Bernadette Richards and Vic Pfitzner. The book will be launched by Professor Robert Crotty, Director of ECSA.
Life at its borders is tenuous and the crossing of borders is no longer as simple as the birth of a new baby or the death of a loved one. Advances in medical science have meant that the border at the start of life can be facilitated through assisted reproductive technology or avoided through abortion. Similarly, at the final border, passage can be hastened through euthanasia or delayed by means of palliative care.
The stretching of the borders through medical advances gives rise to important ethical and legal questions, which cannot be solved with ease. The questions must be answered through careful consideration of the law, community perceptions and ethical imperatives.
When does human life begin, and can we determine when and how it should end? What constitutes human personhood? What rights must be afforded the embryo and the foetus, the mother (and father) in each instance, and the person with end-stage dementia or terminal cancer. Can a birth ever be deemed a deficit? Must it always be good to be alive?
In this collection of essays, these and many other issues dealing with life at its borders are dealt with by a variety of specialists in the area of medicine, ethics, law and theology, making a valuable contribution to a vital and ongoing debate.
Bernadette Richards is Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide Law School. Her research focus is in the area of tort law in general with a specific focus on medical law and ethics. Her main area of interest is the nexus of ethics and the law in the context of medical treatment, with particular emphasis on the question of consent to medical treatment.
Vic Pfitzner is a former lecturer and principal at Australian Lutheran College, North Adelaide, now in retirement. His areas of specialty are biblical languages, New Testament and spirituality.