Institute of Catholic Bioethics Premieres Online Journal

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Institute of Catholic Bioethics (ICB) at SJU has launched the Internet Journal of Catholic Bioethics, the first such publication by a university in the country. This publication will provide information and articles on the issues faced by Catholics and the world on medicine and health.

"This journal provides an opportunity for Catholic healthcare institutions to research articles and provide a forum for the discussion of Catholic bioethics," said Peter Clark, S.J., professor of theology, and director of the Institute of Catholic Bioethics.

One of the publication's benefits will be to make clear the Catholic Church's stance on medical issues.

"With so many Catholic hospitals, nursing homes and hospices today, it is important for people to understand the Church's position on issues such as tube feeding, permanent vegetative states and euthanasia," Clark said. "We hope to clarify these issues so that people can make informed decisions."

Clark and Mark Aita, S.J., assistant director of ICB, are the editors-in-chief for this quarterly publication. Theresa O'Doherty, the administrative assistant of the Institute, serves as the managing editor. Each article in the journal must be approved by an international editorial board before publication using a double-blind, peer-review process.

The Internet Journal of Catholic Bioethics contains voluntary original papers, editorials and case studies by medical, ethics and law professionals. It also provides an opportunity for students to publish in an academic journal, with undergraduate and graduate research sections, as well as reviews of books and movies that concern bioethical issues.  The inaugural issue contains three book reviews by Saint Joseph's University undergraduates and a graduate research paper by a Saint Joseph's alumnus.

Calls are going out to Catholic institutions and universities throughout the world for content in upcoming issues.

The strictly online format for the journal not only keeps costs down but also allows the information in each issue to be readily available to readers.

"All the big medical journals are moving in an online direction," said Clark. "This format puts us at the forefront of academic texts."

The journal's release is a remarkable accomplishment for ICB as it was founded only in the fall of 2006. The journal is also an excellent opportunity for the institute as a whole, said Clark.

"My hope is that the journal will do two things: that it will help people with decisions on biomedical issues, and that it will raise the prestige of Saint Joseph's University," Clark said. "In this way, we can carry on the mission Fr. Lannon set forth to become the preeminent Catholic university in the Northeast."

--David King '08

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