The young people from
all five continents who gather in Rio in July 2013 for World Youth Day will
find in their backpacks a “bioethics survival kit”: a special WYD edition of A Student’s Guide to Bioethics, produced by the Jérôme
Lejeune Foundation at the request of the Pontifical Academy for Life and the
Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
The manual, nicknamed BIOBOOK, will be available in French, Portuguese,
English and Spanish editions. In
early spring two million copies will be printed in Chile for the registered
pilgrims expected at the event.
Originally entitled Manuel Bioéthique des
this educational resource was first published in France in 2006 by the Jérôme
Lejeune Foundation in response to a qualifying examination in science that was
marred by ideological bias. The
objective of A Student’s Guide to Bioethics is “to go beyond the
cosmetic rhetoric and to focus again on the reality of the biological facts and
their ethical implications”. The
French edition has been a great success:
more than 300,000 copies have been distributed free of charge to
students, parents and schools that have requested it.
The Student’s Guide is simply and clearly
organized in eight chapters on the topics: “The story of a little human being”, “Abortion”, “Prenatal
diagnosis”, “Medically assisted procreation”, “Pre-implantation genetic
diagnosis”, “Embryo research”, “Euthanasia”, and “Organ donation”. A special dossier that was recently
added to the updated edition deals with “gender theory”. In each chapter the reader finds
definitions, descriptions of medical procedures, an explanation of current
French law on the topic, a Q&A section, ethical reflections and one or more
personal testimonies. The book is
attractively formatted and illustrated with full-color photographs, charts and
The Student’s Guide to Bioethics is designed to put
questions of bioethics on a scientific basis so as to allow the readers to
reflect on them objectively and to make free, well-informed value
judgments. This rigorous yet
accessible approach to bioethical subjects makes it a valuable educational
tool, not just for young people but also for adults.
For the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio, a special
edition of A Student’s Guide to Bioethics was produced that includes passages from Scripture
and Magisterial documents at the end of each chapter. Thus it goes beyond ethical reflection based on reason and
the natural law and draws from the wealth of Catholic moral teaching. Among the Church documents cited are
the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, the Instruction Dignitas personae, the Catechism of
the Catholic Church,
and papal addresses by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
special WYD edition of A Student’s Guide to Bioethics will help the
participants to discover the Gospel of Life and to understand that it is
compatible with science and reason.
The theme of the 2013 World Youth Day is: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt
28:19). With the BIOBOOK, the
young pilgrims will have the adequate training and tools to be promoters of a
culture of life.
More information about A Student’s Guide to
can be found at www.Lejeuneusa.org.