Respected Moral theologian appointed to Linacre centre
Former Dominican friar and bioethicist Professor David Jones has been nominated to succeed Dr Helen Watt as director at the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics. The post was held by Professor Luke Gormally from 1981 to 2000.
Dr Jones is known as an eloquent defender of Catholic moral teaching in the public arena. He has a reputation for being a canny theologian with nous and comes across well in the media.
The Linacre Centre will be renamed after the renowned Catholic philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. Earlier this year the centre relocated to Oxford University to work in close academic cooperation to Blackfriars Hall–the Dominican Permanent Private Hall.
Dr Jones is currently the Professor of Bioethics at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham and is the author of The Soul of the Embryo: An enquiry into the status of the human embryo in the Christian tradition (Continuum 2004). His doctorate was published and is entitled Approaching the End: a theological exploration of death and dying (Oxford University Press 2007). With the publication of the new General Medical Council’s rules for withholding treatment from terminally ill patients were published today and the growing clamour to legalise other forms of assisted suicide, Dr Jones’s appointment is timely. He has spoken in favour of the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway, a palliative care programme for dying patients in hospitals and is a member of the the National Liverpool Care Pathway Reference Group.
He said, “I feel honoured to have been appointed as Director of the Linacre Centre, soon to be the Anscombe Bioethics Centre. It is an exciting time to take up this role: The move of the Centre to Oxford and our developing relationship with Blackfriars is a great challenge and an opportunity. Catholic bioethics must learn from the greatest thinkers of our age and must make its own voice heard at the highest level of academic debate. I aim to work with colleagues in engaging openly and eagerly with the key ethical issues of our day.”
He will take up the post in July.
The Linacre Centre is hosting a big conference on Fertility, Infertility and Gender which will be held at Maynooth in Ireland from 16-18 June 2010. For more information