Today, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) remembered one of their own. Dr. John Arras, a member of the Bioethics Commission and the Porterfield Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Professor of Philosophy and Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia, passed away on March 9, 2015.
“He enlivened our deliberations and contributed far more than his share to our painstaking work,” said Dr. Amy Gutmann, the Chair of the Bioethics Commission in a tribute posted to the Bioethics Commission’s website. “We are grieving the tremendous loss of a great teacher, scholar, and member of our bioethics family, and we already miss him greatly,” she wrote.
Dr. Thomas Murray, President Emeritus of The Hastings Center and a close friend and colleague of Dr. Arras, also offered remarks. “Over the course of his career, John wrote incisively on many issues… He also contributed mightily to the critical evaluation of method and theory in bioethics,” said Murray in a commentary published in the Hastings Center Report. “John loved to teach, and we can be grateful for generations of students and colleagues who learned from him,” he expressed.
President Obama appointed Arras to the Bioethics Commission in 2010 and he served until his death in March. He was 69 years old.
“I can only add to this that as a lover of learning, and seeker of justice for all, John Arras was as good as we can ever hope to get,” said Gutmann.