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Matters of Life and Death

Matters of Life and Death

A Catholic Guide to the Moral Questions of Our Time

By Gerard M. Verschuuren

210 pp

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About the Book

Human beings are born with an innate sense of right and wrong, yet the complicated world we live in constantly interferes with our natural understanding. And so we live in a time of widely divergent opinions about right and wrong, life and death, sexuality and sex, pro-life and pro-choice, prolonging life and shortening life. What we need now more than ever is a moral compass by which to steer.

In Matters of Life and Death, Gerard Verschuuren means to provide the contemporary reader with just such a moral compass by unflinchingly examining the pressing issues of today—such as abortion, genetic manipulation, infertility treatments, gender change, and aid in dying. His approach speaks to the Catholic ideal of “formation of conscience,” which is sorely needed to orient ourselves in our fractured political landscape. This book does not so much introduce a new method of navigation as reacquaint the reader with the precepts the Church has long provided as a means to hone our faculties of moral judgment.


“We have long needed a book for non-specialist readers accurately explaining the scientific background of important bioethical issues and showing how basic moral norms guide our thinking about them to sound conclusions. Now we have it. I congratulate Gerard Verschuuren for meeting so vital a need.”


Princeton University 

Matters of Life and Death is a masterpiece of clarity and common sense. Yet many today deny its conclusions, especially in media and academia.”


Boston College

“When lost in the woods we need a compass. William J. Bennett produced The Moral Compass in 1995. But it did not, as does Matters of Life and Death, deal with the specific problems that plague our immediate present, ranging from abortion to in vitro fertilization. To his credit, Gerard Verschuuren deftly manages to align common sense, conscience, nature, and human rights toward a True North that is Catholic in both senses of the word: for everyone and consistent with the Catholic vision.”


Holy Apostles College and Seminary

About the Author

Gerard M. Verschuuren is a human geneticist with a doctorate in the philosophy of science. He has studied and worked at universities in Europe and the United States. Currently semi-retired, he spends most of his time as a writer, speaker, and consultant on the interface of science and religion, faith and reason. His most recent books from Angelico Press are: Life’s Journey—A Guide from Conception to Growing Up, Growing Old, and Natural DeathAquinas and Modern Science—A New Synthesis of Faith and Reason; and The Myth of an Anti-Science Church—Galileo, Darwin, Teilhard, Hawking, Dawkins.

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