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04/13/2015

Gratitude for Rev. Gardner C. Taylor

Remembered by Dr. Robert Lee Hill, Senior Minister
Community Christian Church, Kansas City, Missouri

When a comprehensive American religious history of the 20th century is finally compiled, the magisterial preaching eloquence of the Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor will be remembered with astonishment and abiding, awe-struck admiration. Dr. Taylor died on Sunday, April 5. He was 96.

For more than 70 years, Dr. Taylor held forth among African American Baptists and a panoramic array of religious adherents throughout the United States and around the world as an orator with few if any peers.

MLK’s Favorite Preacher

As the pastor of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York, for 42 years, and afterwards in retirement, Dr. Taylor engaged the issues of his community, the nation and the world with passion, insight and effectiveness. He artfully combined the necessary durative dynamic of transcendence with the equally necessary punctiliar character of incarnation.

With Martin Luther King, Jr., who called Dr. Taylor his “favorite” preacher, he helped found The Progressive National Baptist Church in order for congregations to better address and overcome the ravages of racism and segregation in the U.S. Working from the North, he led the Concord church and many other congregations to raise funds for Dr. King’s efforts in the South.

Dr. Taylor also served on the New York City Board of Education and was always involved in issues that arose in the “public square” of Brooklyn and greater New York. In his later years, Dr. Taylor worried that many religious leaders and their congregations had lost their “prophetic edge” and might fall into the trap of merely mirroring a consumeristic culture.’’

Compassion Sabbath in Kansas City

Whenever he spoke and wherever he travelled, Dr. Taylor dealt with ethical issues and matters of public significance, including when he came to Kansas City.

The Center for Practical Bioethics will remain abidingly thankful for Dr. Taylor’s presence in Kansas City in 1999 at the launching of “Compassion Sabbath,” which engaged more than 80,000 faith community leaders and members in hundreds of congregations in an interfaith initiative to increase the quality of care for those facing the end of life. At a breakfast gathering at Union Station, he spoke compellingly of the need for honesty and compassion in relation to the experience of debilitation and pain at the end of life.

During the time of a sabbatical journey in 2010, I was privileged to share a long interview/conversation with Dr. Taylor in his home in Raleigh, North Carolina. In retirement, Dr. Taylor echoed in his meditations what he put forth as a preacher, pastor, and activist for the betterment of humanity. Well into his 90's, Dr. Taylor spoke plainly and with swift clarity about the process of aging. When asked about what he prayed for, he said his personal prayers were "to get out without too much pain." And he added, with a chuckle, "And I'm ready to get out, I'm ready to go."

People in the pew, the academy of homileticians, and awe-struck fellow clergy regarded Dr. Taylor as a singular personality whose like only comes around once every century or so. We would agree and only add that we’re so glad that he came to Kansas City to share his extraordinary voice for the intertwining for what is “good” and what is “right.”

Note: The Kansas City Star published an article about Dr. Gardner on April 11, 2015, describing his pulpit as “the most prestigious in black Christendom.”

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged . Posted by Practical Bioethics. Bookmark the permalink.

04/13/2015

How Do Scientists’ Beliefs Differ from Those of Laypeople?

Do you think it is safe to eat genetically modified foods? I do, because I believe that most foods we eat have been genetically modified. Cows wouldn’t be cows if humans hadn’t changed them genetically, through breeding practices. That also … Continue reading

The post How Do Scientists’ Beliefs Differ from Those of Laypeople? appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

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This entry was posted in Health Care, Politics and tagged , , , . Posted by Peter Ubel. Bookmark the permalink.

04/12/2015

Should a University President Resign over Research Ethics?

In this newspaper editorial, a former governor of Minnesota says that the current president of the University of Minnesota needs to go, because of how he has mishandled controversy over research ethics at the university: Markingson case: University of Minnesota can’t regain trust under current leadership …During his first year at the university, Kaler had […]

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Chris MacDonald. Bookmark the permalink.

04/12/2015

What’s the Matter with Indiana?

Note: The Bioethics Program blog will be moving to its new home on April 1, 2015. Be sure to change your bookmarks to http://bioethics.uniongraduatecollege.edu/blog/ by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership With all of the hoopla over Indiana’s recent enactment of its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a poorly-written law that gives businesses […]

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This entry was posted in Health Care, HIV/AIDS and tagged , , , . Posted by The Bioethics Program. Bookmark the permalink.

04/12/2015

Limits of Default Surrogate Laws, Importance of Advance Directives

For patients who lose capacity and have no legally appointed surrogate decision maker, most states have laws that specify a hierarchy of persons who may serve as surrogate decision makers by default. But these state "default surrogate consent statutes"...

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope. Bookmark the permalink.

04/11/2015

Ethics of Research on Complementary & Alternative Medicine

Here are three related items to bring to your attention: On the blog of Policy Options magazine, here’s a very good piece by our pal Tim Caulfield, called Homeopathy and the ethics of researching magic. And via the same outlet, here’s my piece in which I partly disagree with Tim: Homeopathy and Research Ethics. And […]

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Chris MacDonald. Bookmark the permalink.

04/11/2015

Abortion and Children’s Books

This week a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook which might be the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen on the social media site: an article regarding a children’s book about abortion. The book itself, called “Sister Apple, Sister Pig,” can be found online here. I find it difficult to even know where to begin this post. While the book does not outright say... // Read More »

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Sarah Sawicki. Bookmark the permalink.

04/11/2015

Is International Consensus on Brain Death Achievable?

Commenting on a new study in NEUROLOGY that shows a wide diversity of brain death practice, James Bernat asks "is international consensus on brain death achievable?"

Bernat observes: "Worldwide concurrence on death determination criteria can enhance public confidence in physicians’ ability to determine death by eliminating the possibility that patients declared dead in one jurisdiction would be considered alive in another. International harmonization also is a constructive step toward improving global systems of organ transplantation."

But, Bernat notes, "formidable medical and societal barriers must be overcome before such consensus becomes possible." 

In addition to other sources of variation results, Bernat notes "disagreement over the conceptual question of whether brain dead patients are truly dead or only “legally dead.” Surveys continue to show both widespread misunderstanding of the brain death concept and its rejection as equivalent to biological death by some health care professionals."

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope. Bookmark the permalink.

04/10/2015

“Computers Helping Computers Help People Help Computers”

That was how one wag, a fellow undergrad at my college in the late 70’s, rewrote “people making computers to help people,” the “tag line” that IBM was using in its TV commercials at the time.  It got a good laugh.  Indeed, it sounded more accurate than the original. Even more so now, I was reminded last week by an interview on the Fox Business... // Read More »

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , . Posted by Jon Holmlund. Bookmark the permalink.

04/10/2015

Neither Doctors nor Laypersons Understand Brain Death

Here is a good presentation with some disturbing data from the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope. Bookmark the permalink.