24 January 2019
“Keys to bioethics”, Bioethics accessible on APP
A manual for smartphones available in three languages will be presented in Panama
Is the embryo only a clot of cells? Are prenatal diagnosis techniques acceptable? Who can judge the value of life? Is assisted reproduction the only alternative in the event of sterility? What are the natural methods? What does dying with dignity mean? Information, scientific explanations, ethical reflections and witnesses related to all these questions are gathered in “Keys to Bioethics”. This is a virtual manual on bioethics for young people created by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, in collaboration with the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation. It will be presented during the WYD in Panama and will be accessible on a free APP in Italian, English and Spanish. See the launch video here below
A Manual for young people with questions and answers to fundamental existential questions: the development of the human being from conception, sexuality and gender, illness and death, abortion and research on stem cells, euthanasia and organ transplants. The idea of creating an app on bioethical issues sprang from a previous small paper manual that the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation in Paris had published for the WYD in Rio de Janeiro in 2013 and had distributed to young people in their rucksacks. However, only a few noticed it. Just by chance, some months ago, I came across a copy of the manual and, trying to imagine how to attract the attention of young people to bioethical issues by taking advantage of the WYD in Panama, I thought of my own children and their peers. They always have their mobile phones in their hands, on which they search for answers to any questions. Hence the idea to turn the manual into an app that could be downloaded onto their mobile phones. A practical instrument, with which young people, perhaps made curious, could discuss these now common issues that enter our homes daily – just think about artificial insemination, prenatal selection, contraception, euthanasia - in relation to which it is difficult to find one’s path and know how to discern in the light of the real good. The WYD is an extraordinary occasion for conversion and growth in the faith for hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world, but one of our major challenges is to show them that faith and moral life are intrinsically bound. Faith illuminates human reason in a decisive manner for understanding the truth and the good. In this sense, the app aims to be an instrument that encourages young people’s desire for truth: the beginning of a job that adults must pursue and elaborate on with them during catechism, at school, in the family and the community.