Many resources exist on assisted reproductive technologies, genetics and stem-cell issues. The following represent only a handful:
• Bioethics: A Primer For Christians by Gilbert Meilaender (William B. Eerdmans, 2004).
• Counseling Pregnancy, Politics, and Biomedicine: Empowering Discernment by Patricia Elyse Terrell (Haworth, 2007).
• "Embryonic Stem Cells 2007" by Paul T. Nelson (Journal of Lutheran Ethics).
• For the Love of Children: Genetic Technology and the Future of the Family by Ted Peters (Westminster John Knox, 1996).
• Genetic Testing and Screening: Critical Engagement at the Intersection of Faith and Science, edited by Roger A. Willer (Kirk House, 1998).
• Genetics! Where Do We Stand as Christians? (ELCA, 2001, call 800-638-3522, ext. 2996, or download from the ELCA Web site .
• Navigating Through a Stipulated Freedom by Paul J. Kirbas (Cloverdale Books, 2007).
• Playing God? by Ted Peters (Routledge, 1996).
• The Stem Cell Debate by Ted Peters (Fortress Press, 2007).
• "Watching Our Language: The Human Embryo Stem Cell Controversy" by Hans Tiefel (Journal of Lutheran Ethics).
We stand on the edge of a new frontier—genetics. It’s full of promise, but there are lots of cautions too. Are these issues Christians can sit out?
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Work on a social statement on genetics was authorized at the 2005 Churchwide Assembly to address “significant theological, ethical, public, and pastoral challenges arising from developments in genetics.” A consultation was held in January 2007 to give guidance for developing the statement. The task force began work in June.
The task force will consider questions of both human genetics and of plants and animals, perhaps including genetically modified organisms for agriculture or genetically engineered medicines.
Since last summer, task force members have held informal listening posts. In November 2008 a study will be available for congregational use. In 2010 the first draft of the social statement will be distributed, with public hearings in many synods.
A second draft will likely be presented to the ELCA Church Council in spring 2011. If the council approves, a statement will be considered for adoption by the 2011 Churchwide Assembly.
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