The Anscombe Centre is a Roman Catholic academic institute that engages with the moral questions arising in clinical practice and biomedical research. It brings to bear on those questions principles of natural law, virtue ethics, and the teaching of the Catholic Church, and seeks to develop the implications of that teaching for emerging fields of practice. The Centre engages in scholarly dialogue with academics and practitioners of other traditions. It contributes to public policy debates as well as to debates and consultations within the Church. It runs educational programmes for, and gives advice to, Catholics and other interested healthcare professionals and biomedical scientists. For more information please see the About Us section...
10th September 2013 - The Director and the Governing Board of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre have agreed a statement welcoming the publication of the independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway and endorsing all its recommendations, including the recommendation that the LCP should be replaced by an ‘an end of life care plan for each patient, backed up by condition-specific good practice guidance’.
Professor Anselm Müller will deliver the Anscombe Memorial Lecture 2013. on Friday 27th September: ‘On the spiritual nature of man’. This will take place at 5pm at St Hugh's College, Oxford. Entry is free, but booking is required: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 610 212.
Draft programme announced. Bookings now open... The Moral Philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe. On 27th and 28th September 2013 the Centre will host a major international conference on the moral philosophy of GEM Anscombe, after whom the Centre is named, at St Hugh's College, Oxford (where G.E.M. Anscombe was an undergraduate student). The price is £180 for conference registration, light refreshments and lunch only for the two conference days (without accommodation). Concessions £90. For details please see the booking pages. The final booking deadline is Friday 13th Septemebr.
Participants will include Christopher Coope, Dr Mary Geach,
Prof Luke Gormally, Dr Edward Harcourt,
Dr David Jones, Prof Anselm Müller,
Dr Matthew O’Brien, Prof Thomas Pink,
Prof Duncan Richter, Dr Roger Teichmann,
Prof Jose Maria Torralba and Prof Candace Vogler.
To book your place please visit this webpage, and for more information, please contact email@example.com
A letter on presumed consent and organ donation (the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill), co-signed by the Director, is available here.
The Anscombe Bioethics Centre is disturbed by the Department of Health's recently announced plans to move to allow mitochondrial replacement techniques to be offered in UK clinics. Mitochondrial replacement is an extremely radical step that affects future generations: it bears little resemblance to legitimate gene therapy affecting a born individual alone. Mitochondrial replacement treats no-one: it merely manufactures a new child, who will then be at risk of unknown harms of various kinds, as will his or her descendants. One method, pronuclear transfer (PNT), is particularly objectionable, as it would require the would-be parents to deliberately conceive their own IVF embryo, purely to combine that embryo’s parts with those of a second, donor embryo to create a third embryo - a ‘pronuclear clone’ of the first embryo. The wish for a child to whom one is some way genetically related (as opposed to an adopted child, for example) cannot be used to justify cloning, embryo destruction, genetically modifying the child or altering the germline.
See here for the Anscombe Centre's submission to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority consultation on mitochondrial replacement, here for the Centre's earlier briefing on the submission and here for a letter on mitochondrial replacement we co-wrote to the Times signed by 42 ethicists and science/health professionals from Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain and the USA.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has published its recommendations to the government on mitochondria replacement. Although unfortunately the HFEA recommended to the government that mitochondria replacement be permitted, it is worth stressing that a majority of those who completed the online submission (as opposed to consultation strands involving fewer people, such as workshops, public meetings and a survey) opposed mitochondria replacement in either form (pronuclear transfer or maternal spindle transfer).
The full text and list of signatories is available at the Times website and here.
Ethics Forum with +John Sherrington Wednesday 28th November
The Centre hosted an ethics forum at which Bishop John Sherrington and Professor David Albert Jones spoke on medical care for those with learning difficulties, and the dignity of the human person, with particular relation to disability. This session at Newman House, London, was well attended and marks the beginning of further Anscombe Centre work in this area.
Thinking Christian Ethos Tuesday 30th October 2012
The Centre hosted a conference for school leaders and teachers on the place of Science, Ethics and Faith in Catholic Schools. For more information about this project, see the 'Education' tab above.
3rd Anscombe Memorial Lecture:
Most Rev Dr Anthony Fisher OP
15th October 2012
Bishop Fisher (Bishop of Parramatta) delivered the third Anscombe Memorial Lecture on: "Fair innings? Healthcare rationing in favour of the young over the elderly". A video recording of this paper is available below and on our Multimedia page (Resources>Multimedia)
Graduate Seminar on Double Effect at St Hilda's Collge, Oxford
Monday 25 June 2012: A Seminar for graduate students on "Double Effect Reasoning" with Dr Roger Teichmann, University of Oxford and Professor Daniel Sulmasy, University of Chicago.
Human Dignity in Healthcare 18th June 2012
Prof. Daniel P. Sulmasy delivered the keynote presentation at this international day conference. The conference poster is available here.
Podcasts of various Centre events are available on our multimedia page. They include a recent research seminar on "Catholic Perspectives on Organ Donation", and the 2011 Anscombe Memorial Lecture delivered by Professor Robert P George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University, on "Science, Philosophy and Religion in the Embryo Debate".
Professor Luke Gormally, Director Emeritus of the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics (now the Anscombe Bioethics Centre) was announced as the 2011 recipient of the Paul Ramsey Award of the Center for Bioethics and Culture (San Francisco). Previous recipients have been: Edmund Pellegrino (2004), Germain Grisez (2005), John Finnis (2006), William E May (2007), Albert Moraczewski OP (2008), Gilbert Meilaender (2009), Leon Kass (2010). The award banquet was held on Friday 25th March in San Francisco. We wish him many congratulations.