Bioethicist to lecture on the biblical roots of law

Author: Melanie McDonald


Dr. Leon R. Kass, Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, will give a lecture titledThe (Super?) Human Roots of Law and Justice: Lessons from the Book of Genesisat 4 p.m Thursday (March 27) in the Notre Dame Law School Courtroom.

Kass, who was chairman of the Presidents Council on Bioethics from 2002 to 2005, will explain how the roots of law and justice can be found in Genesis. His lecture is part of the 2008 Natural Law Institute, sponsored by the American Journal of Jurisprudence at the Notre Dame Law School.

A native of Chicago, Kass was educated at the University of Chicago where he earned his bachelors and medical degrees and at Harvard where he earned a doctoral degree in biochemistry in1967. Afterwards, he did research in molecular biology at the National Institutes of Health, while serving in the United States Public Health Service.

For more than 30 years, Kass has addressed the ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advance. From 1970 to 1972, he served as executive secretary of the Committee on the Life Sciences and Social Policy of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences. The councils report,Assessing Biomedical Technologies,provided one of the first overviews of the emerging moral and social questions posed by biomedical advance.

Kass has written numerous articles and books, and his widely reprinted essays in biomedical ethics have dealt with issues raised by in vitro fertilization, cloning, genetic screening and genetic technology, organ transplantation, aging research, euthanasia and assisted suicide, and the moral nature of the medical profession.

The Natural Law Institute of Notre Dame Law School was established in 1947. In 1956, the institute founded the Natural Law Forum.The name of the journal was changed in 1970 to the American Journal of Jurisprudence.It examines the moral foundations of law and legal systems and explores current and historical issues in ethics, jurisprudence, and legal and constitutionaltheory.

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