Contentment and Bioethics

 One thing I appreciate about David VanDrunen’s book on bioethics is the section on virtue in the Christian life.  Here’s one part worth underscoring.

“The virtue of contentment is crucial for bioethics in large part because bioethical questions usually emerge as a result of dissatisfaction with our current state of affairs.  Bioethics concerns things that we desire but lack (such as children or health) and concerns the difficult moral questions that arise from possible solutions. 

Given our discussion, the Christian’s first responsibility in such circumstances is to learn contentment in whatever condition she experiences (such as infertility or illness), accepting that God may not will to relieve her from it.  Then, from this perspective of contentment, the Christian should consider morally permissible ways to remedy her condition.  I would argue, moreover, that true contentment may significantly alter our perspective on the dilemmas we face and it may even persuade us, at times, that remaining in our undesired condition is the most ethically satisfying decision” (p. 90).

This book is highly recommended: Bioethics and the Christian Life (Wheaton: Crossway 2009).

shane lems