Back in January, Michael J. Miller reported for CWR
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 booklet, A Student’s Guide to Bioethics, is now available as a free download (PDF format) from the Jérôme
Lejeune Foundation website.