Exodus and American Nationhood

– Leon Kass, "Exodus and American Nationhood," Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2021.
What makes a people a people? What forms their communal identity, holds them together, guides their lives? To what do they look up? For what should they strive? These questions have risen to the surface in our turbulent times, as controversy swirls about the… More

The People-Forming Passover

– Leon Kass, "The People-Forming Passover," Mosaic, April 6, 2020.
Excerpt: The essay below is adapted from Founding God’s Nation: Reading Exodus by Leon R. Kass, forthcoming from Yale University Press in January 2021. The biblical book of Exodus, writes Kass in his Introduction, “not only recounts the founding of the… More

A Reply to My Respondents, and My Friends

Mosaic Magazine, June 27, 2013.
Excerpt: I thank Michael Fishbane, Peter Berkowitz, Gilbert Meilaender, and Meir Soloveichik for their generous treatment of my essay, for their serious engagement with its themes, and for their most interesting comments from which I have learned… More

The Ten Commandments: Why the Decalogue Matters

Mosaic (June 2013).
Excerpt: The biblical book of Genesis presents the story of how God’s new way for humankind finds its first adherent in a single individual-Abraham, a man out of Mesopotamia-and how that way survives through three generations in the troubled households… More

Amicus Curiae Brief In Support of Petitioners in Hollingsworth v. Perry

– With Harvey Mansfield, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, January 29, 2013.
Summary: This case should be decided on the basis of the law, without reliance on the social science studies and authorities that Respondents and their amici will undoubtedly put before the Court. The social and behavioral sciences have a long history of… More

The Other War on Poverty

– “The Other War on Poverty: Finding Meaning in America,” 2012 Irving Kristol Lecture, American Enterprise Institute, May 2, 2012.
Excerpt: On this occasion twenty years ago, in his Boyer Lecture entitled “The Cultural Revolution and the Capitalist Future,” Irving Kristol explored the growing gap between our thriving capitalist economy and our unraveling bourgeois culture.… More

Cancer and Mortality: Making Time Count

– Rebecca Dresser, ed., Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 179-194.
Excerpt: All human beings are mortal, and nearly all of us know it. But for most of us, through much of our lives, this knowledge remains largely below the level of consciousness. The arrival of cancer—in our own life or the life of our loved… More

The Significance of Veterans Day

Weekly Standard, 14 November 2011.
Excerpt: What exactly do we celebrate on Veterans Day? To be sure, we mean to honor the brave men and women, living and dead, who have fought America’s battles, past and present. But honor them how, and for what? About these matters, we lack a clear… More

What Silent Cal Said About the Fourth of July

Wall Street Journal, 1 July 2011.
Excerpt: Parades. Backyard barbecues. Fireworks. This is how many of us will celebrate the Fourth of July. In earlier times, the day was also marked with specially prepared orations celebrating our founding principles, a practice that has disappeared without… More

What’s the Point of Flag Day?

– National Review Online, June 14, 2011.
Excerpt: Flag Day is unusual. Commemorating the birthday of the American flag, adopted in the midst of the American Revolution by the Second Continental Congress, Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. Instead, by an act of Congress passed in 1949, the… More

Take Time to Remember

Weekly Standard, May 29, 2011.
Excerpt: American identity, character, and civic life are shaped by many things, but decisive among them are our national memories—of our long history, our triumphs and tragedies, our national aspirations and achievements. Crucial to the national memory are… More

The Unique Worth of an Individual Human Life

The New Atlantis (Spring 2010).
Excerpt: The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network selected Leon R. Kass, M.D. to receive its Paul Ramsey Award for 2010 — an award honoring those “who have demonstrated exemplary achievement in the field of bioethics.” Dr. Kass, the Addie Clark… More

Forbidding Science: Some Beginning Reflections

Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):271-282, 2009.
Abstract: Growing powers to manipulate human bodies and minds, not merely to heal disease but to satisfy desires, control deviant behavior, and to change human nature, make urgent questions of whether and how to regulate their use, not merely to assure safety… More

Looking for an Honest Man: Reflections of an Unlicensed Humanist

– 38th Annual Jefferson Lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities, 21 May 2009.
Excerpt: It is true that I have long been devoted to liberal education, and along with my wife, Amy Kass, and a few other colleagues at the University of Chicago, I helped found a successful common core humanities course, “Human Being and Citizen,” as… More

Principles for Neighbors: The “Second Table” of the Decalogue

– AEI Newsletter, February 01, 2009.
Excerpt: Murder, adultery, and theft are outlawed by virtually all civilized peoples. These legal prohibitions are not only the necessary condition of civil peace; they erect important boundaries, not to be violated, between what is mine and what is thine:… More

A Truer Humanism

Azure 5769, no. 34 (Autumn 2008).
Abstract: Science gives us many gifts, but it cannot keep us from losing our souls in the bargain.

For the Love of the Game

– With Eric Cohen. The New Republic, March 26, 2008.
Excerpt: The Super Bowl is over. March Madness is fast approaching, with NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs close behind. Spring training for the new baseball season has begun. Year after year, season by season, sports fans across the country shift their… More

Defending Life and Dignity

Weekly Standard, February 25, 2008.
Excerpt: In his State of the Union address President Bush spoke briefly on matters of life and science. He stated his intention to expand funding for new possibilities in medical research, to take full advantage of recent breakthroughs in stem cell research… More

How Brave a New World?

– 2007 Convocation Address, St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland. Reprinted in Society 45 (1): 5-8 (February 2008).
Excerpt: Surveying the world you graduates are about to enter, I am reminded of the ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” My own time has been interesting to a fault, but yours will almost certainly be more so. For the world… More

Defending Human Dignity

Commentary, December 2007. Revised and reprinted in Human Dignity and Bioethics: Essays Commissioned by the President's Council on Bioethics (Washington DC, 2008), 297-331.
Abstract: In contrast to continental Europe, human dignity has never been a powerful idea in American public discourse. We tend instead to be devoted to the language of rights and the pursuit of equality. For the egalitarians among us, the very idea of… More

Brave New Future

– Symposium, National Review Online, November 21, 2007.
Excerpt: LEON R. KASS Reprogramming of human somatic cells to pluripotency is an enormously significant achievement, one that boosters of medical progress and defenders of human dignity can celebrate without qualification. The evidence in the papers released… More

The Right to Life and Human Dignity

The New Atlantis (Spring 2007).
Excerpt: Issues of individual rights tend to stand at the very center of legal disputes and moral debates in the United States. This is no accident, for “rights talk” is as American as apple pie. The moral bedrock of our republic is, as the Declaration of… More

Science, Religion, and the Human Future

Commentary (April 2007).
Excerpt: Western civilization would not be Western civilization were it not for biblical religion, which reveres and trusts in the one God, Who has made known what He wants of human beings through what is called His revelation–that is, through… More

Cast Me Not Off in Old Age

Commentary (January 2006).
Excerpt: Death and dying are once again subjects of intense public attention. During his confirmation hearings, Chief Justice John Roberts was grilled about his views on removing life-sustaining treatments from debilitated patients and warned by various… More

Lingering Longer: Who Will Care?

Washington Post, September 29, 2005.
Excerpt: American society is aging — dramatically, rapidly and, largely, well. More and more of us are living healthily into our seventies and eighties, many well into our nineties. With the baby boomers approaching retirement and birthrates down, we… More

A Way Forward on Stem Cells

Washington Post, July 12, 2005.
Excerpt: The stem cell wars have heated up again, with the next skirmish due shortly on the Senate floor. Once again scientists and patients’ advocates, eager to garner maximum support for this promising field of research, are urging Congress to… More

Alternative Sources of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells: A White Paper

– The President's Council on Bioethics, Washington, DC, May 2005.
Excerpt: I am pleased to present to you Alternative Sources of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells, a White Paper of the President’s Council on Bioethics.Since the publication of our report, Monitoring Stem Cell Research, in January of 2004, the Council has… More

Reflections on Public Bioethics: A View from the Trenches

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15 (3): 221-250, 2005.
Abstract: For many reasons, and more than its predecessors, the President’s Council on Bioethics has been the subject of much public attention and heated controversy. But little of that attention and controversy has been informed by knowledge of the… More

Playing Politics With the Sick

Washington Post, October 8, 2004.
Excerpt: Stem cell research is again a hot political issue. Scientists, biotech companies and patients’ groups continue their public relations campaign to force President Bush to change his funding policy. On Monday Sen. John Kerry accused the president… More

Human Frailty and Human Dignity

The New Atlantis (Fall 2004-Winter 2005).
Excerpt: In the aftermath of an election season, with the question of stem cell research in the public eye and demagogued in the most awful way, Eric Cohen has chosen to ask more fundamental questions. His essay reflects upon the morality of nature, the… More

Reproduction and Responsibility

Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2004.
Excerpt: New biotechnologies are providing new capacities for altering human reproduction, especially with life initiated outside the body. The intersection of assisted reproduction with techniques of genetic screening and sex selection confronts patients… More

We Don’t Play Politics with Science

Washington Post, March 3, 2004.
Excerpt: Even before the President’s Council on Bioethics had its first meeting in January 2002, charges were flying that the council was stacked with political and religious conservatives, appointed to rubber-stamp the president’s moral and… More

The Price of Winning at Any Cost

– With Eric Cohen, Washington Post Outlook, February 1, 2004.
Excerpt: It’s Super Bowl Sunday. A day of hype and heroics. Big money and bragging rights. In all likelihood, more people will watch Super Bowl XXXVIII on television than will vote in the next election. But some of us who have watched football since before… More

The Public’s Stake

– Symposium, Biotechnology: A House Divided, Public Interest 150: Winter 2003.
Excerpt: For the first six months of this year, the President’s Council on  Bioethics met to consider the moral, biomedical, and human significance of human cloning in order to advise President Bush on the subject. The council’s report, Human Cloning and… More

The Pursuit of Biohappiness

Washington Post, October 16, 2003.
Excerpt: By all accounts, we are entering the golden age of biotechnology. Advances in genetics, drug discovery and regenerative medicine promise cures for dreaded diseases and relief for terrible suffering. Advances in neuroscience and psychopharmacology… More

Ageless Bodies, Happy Souls

The New Atlantis (Spring 2003).
Excerpt: Let me begin by offering a toast to biomedical science and biotechnology: May they live and be well. And may our children and grandchildren continue to reap their ever tastier fruit — but without succumbing to their seductive promises of a perfect,… More

How One Clone Leads to Another

New York Times, January 24, 2003.
Excerpt: The failure of the last Congress to enact a ban on human cloning casts grave doubt on our ability to govern the unethical uses of biotechnology, even when it threatens things we hold dear. The new Congress must work to break the legislative impasse.… More

The Meaning of Life in the Laboratory

Public Interest 146: Winter 2002.
Excerpt: The readers of Aldous Huxley’s novel, like the inhabitants of the society it depicts, enter into the Brave New World through “a squat gray building … the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre,” beginning, in fact, in the… More

The Age of Genetic Technology Arrives

American Spectator, November-December 2002.
Excerpt: As one contemplates the current and projected state of genetic knowledge and technology, one is astonished by how far we have come…

Stop All Cloning of Humans For Four Years

Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2002.
Excerpt: For the past five years, the prospect of human cloning has been the subject of much public attention and sharp moral debate. Several mammalian species have been cloned; the first cloned human embryos have been created; and fertility specialists at… More

Defending Dignity

Christianity Today, May 23, 2002.
Excerpt: Condensed from an interview with Leon Kass, head of President Bush’s Advisory Council on Bioethics, and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. The interview was conducted by Nigel Cameron and published in Christianity Today, May 23,… More

The Right to Life and Human Dignity

– In Kenneth L. Vaux, Sara Vaux, and Mark Stenberg, eds., Covenants of Life: Contemporary Medical Ethics in Light of the Thought of Paul Ramsey (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002), 57-69. Revised and reprinted in Svetozar Minkov, ed., Enlightening Revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006), 127-141.

Brave New Biology: The Challenge for Human Dignity

– London: The Institute of United States Studies, 2002.
Excerpt: The urgency of the great political struggles of the twentieth century and the new global struggle against terrorism and fanaticism seems to have blinded many people to a deep truth about the present age: nearly all contemporary societies, East as… More

Ban Stand

– With Daniel Callahan, The New Republic, August 6, 2001.
Excerpt: Everyone has been arguing for weeks about whether President Bush should authorize funding for research on human embryonic stem cells. But few have noticed the much more momentous decision now before us: whether to permit the cloning of human beings.… More

The Ethics of Cloning

– Testimony Before United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, June 7, 2001.
Excerpt: Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. My name is Leon Kass, and I am the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago. Originally trained both as a physician and a biochemist, I… More

Preventing a Brave New World: Why We Should Ban Human Cloning Now

The New Republic, May 21, 2001.
Excerpt: The urgency of the great political struggles of the twentieth century, successfully waged against totalitarianisms first right and then left, seems to have blinded many people to a deeper and ultimately darker truth about the present age: all… More

L’Chaim and Its Limits: Why Not Immortality?

First Things, May 2001.
Excerpt: You don’t have to be Jewish to drink L’Chaim, to lift a glass “To Life.” Everyone in his right mind believes that life is good and that death is bad. But Jews have always had an unusually keen appreciation of life, and not only because it… More

Fanning Real Desire

– Panel discussion, American Enterprise Institute Online, June 1, 2000.
The following remarks are excerpted from a recent American Enterprise Institute discussion of Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar, a new anthology of “readings on courting and marrying” by authors ranging from Homerto Tolstoy to Miss Manners. Christina Hoff… More

Aldous Huxley Brave New World (1932)

First Things, March 2000.
Excerpt: The urgency of the great political struggles of the twentieth century, successfully waged against totalitarianisms first right and then left, seems to have blinded many people to a deeper truth about the present age: all contemporary societies, the… More

Revive Courtship for Seeking Love

– With Amy A. Kass, Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2000.
Excerpt: Last Tuesday’s television program “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” hit a new low, trivializing marriage as entertainment. But the huge size of its audience–23 million viewers, many of them women under 35–suggests that… More

Proposing Courtship

– With Amy A. Kass, First Things, October 1999.
Excerpt: Anyone interested in improving relations between men and women today and tomorrow must proceed by taking a page from yesterday. For today’s tale regarding manhood and womanhood is, alas, both too brief and hardly edifying. True, as they multiply… More

The Moral Meaning of Genetic Technology

Commentary, September 1999. Reprinted in The American Journal of Jurisprudence 45:1-16, 2000.
Abstract: As one contemplates the current and projected state of genetic knowledge and technology, one is astonished by how far we have come in the less than 50 years since Watson and Crick first announced the structure of DNA. True, soon after that… More

Why We Should Ban the Cloning of Human Beings

Texas Review of Law & Politics 4(1): 41-49, Fall 1999.
Excerpt: “To clone or not to clone a human being” is no longer a fanciful question. Success in cloning first sheep, then cows, and most recently, great success in cloning mice makes it perfectly clear that a fateful decision is now at hand: should… More

The Ethics of Human Cloning

The American Enterprise, March 1, 1999.
Social critics James Q. Wilson and Leon Kass debate the social, psychological and ethical ramifications of human cloning. Wilson supports limited cloning to two-parent heterosexual families and believes the source of the egg should be restricted to race,… More

Evolution and the Bible: Genesis I Revisited

Commentary, November 1988.
Abstract: These tensions between science and religion, never absent yet recently grown strong, nowadays focus mainly on the subject of evolution and its meaning for the Bible.

Beyond Biology

– Review of Brave New Worlds: Staying Human in the Genetic Future by Bryan Appleyard, The New York Times Book Review, August 23, 1998.
Excerpt: During the decades after World War II, two powerfully disturbing novels captured the imagination of those of us who were apprehensive about the human future: George Orwell’s ”Nineteen Eighty-four” and Aldous Huxley’s… More

The End of Courtship

The Public Interest, Number 126:39–63, Winter 1997.
Excerpt: In the current wars over the state of American culture, few battlegrounds have seen more action than that of “family values”–sex, marriage, and child-rearing. Passions run high about sexual harassment, condom distribution in… More

The Aims of Liberal Education

– In John Boyer, ed., The Aims of Education (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago, 1997), 81-106.
Excerpt: What, then, could be left for the aim of liberal education if we exclude professional training, research and scholarship, general broadening and culture, the arts of learning, and familiarity with the intellectual tradition? I have already hinted at… More

Courting Death: Assisted Suicide, Doctors, and the Law

– With Nelson Lund, Commentary, December 1996.
Abstract: That we die is certain. When and how we die is not. Because we want to live and not to die, we resort to medicine to delay the inevitable. Yet medicine’s increasing success in prolonging life has been purchased at a heavy price, paid in the coin… More

Dehumanization Triumphant

First Things, August/September 1996.
Excerpt: Recent efforts to legalize physician-assisted suicide and to establish a constitutional “right to die” are deeply troubling events, morally dubious in themselves, extremely dangerous in their likely consequences. The legalization of… More

A Genealogy of Justice

Commentary, July 1996.
Abstract: All morally serious people care generally about justice. And when its apparent absence touches them directly, all people, serious or not, find themselves eager for justice. Even self-proclaimed moral relativists become outraged by the Rodney King… More

Farmers, Founders, and Fratricide: The Story of Cain and Abel

First Things, April 1996.
Excerpt: Once one gets right down to it, the difference between liberals and conservatives traces home to a disagreement about the basic source of human troubles. Liberals are inclined to blame external causes—for example, poverty, prejudice, poor rearing,… More

Charity and the Confines of Compassion

Philanthropy X (2): 5-7 & 28-31, Spring 1996. Reprinted in Amy A. Kass, ed. The Perfect Gift: The Philanthropic Imagination in Poetry and Prose (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2002).

What’s Your Name?

– With Amy A. Kass, First Things, November 1995.
Excerpt: The authors of this essay on names have just identified themselves. Well, not quite. For the sake of full disclosure, they are willing to have it known that they have the same last name not by coincidence or consanguinity but because they are married… More

Intelligence and the Social Scientist

The Public Interest, Number 120:64-78, Summer 1995.
Excerpt: Once upon a time, before science and society got into bed together, serious attention was given to the question of dangerous knowledge. First it was an issue between philosophy and the city (e.g., Athens against Socrates), later between science and… More

Comment on “The Giving Tree”

– Contribution to Symposium, First Things, 49:42-43, January 1995.
Excerpt: Several reasons could be offered for reading The Giving Tree to one’s children. It conveys important truths about our human situation and about human giving. It might induce appropriate attitudes and salutary sentiments or inspire fine… More

Educating Father Abraham: The Meaning of Fatherhood

First Things, December 1994.
Excerpt: My theme is the education of the patriarch Abraham, Father of Judaism, father of Christianity, father of Islam. God Himself undertakes Abraham’s education in order to address and to overcome the natural psychic and social human obstacles to… More

Educating Father Abraham: The Meaning of Wife

First Things, November 1994.
Excerpt: It is not exactly traditional to speak about the education of Abraham. Pious tales of the patriarch regard him as a precocious monotheist even before God calls him, a man who smashed his father’s idols, a man who sprang forth fully pious and… More

Why the Dietary Laws?

Commentary, June 1994.
Abstract: A core document of Western civilization, the Torah or Pentateuch has at its center a set of dietary regulations, presented in the eleventh chapter of Leviticus. Though these now strike even many Jewish believers as quaint, and though the tradition… More

Living Dangerously

– AEI Bradley Lecture Series, 14 March 1994.
Excerpt: The importance of accepting and fostering personal moral responsibility leads me to say, for openers, that I do not see myself as my foolish brother’s keeper. Neither do I regard anyone else as responsible for protecting me from my own follies.… More

Is There a Right to Die?

Hastings Center Report 23 (1):34-43, January/February, 1993. A slightly different version appears in Robert A. Licht, ed., Old Rights and New, Washington, DC: AEI Press, 1993, 75-95.

The Problem of Technology

– In Arthur Melzer, Jerry Weinberger, and M. Richard Zinman, eds., Technology and the Western Political Tradition (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993), 1-24.

Seeing the Nakedness of His Father

Commentary, June 1992.
Abstract: Standing in the large men’s locker room of the National Capitol YMCA, getting dressed after my swim and shower, I overheard a conversation taking place out of my sight, on the other side of my row of lockers: “You wait right here; I’ll be back… More

Organs for Sale? Propriety, Property, and the Price of Progress

The Public Interest, Number 107:65-86, Spring 1992.
Excerpt: Just in case anyone is expecting to read about new markets for Wurlitzers, let me set you straight. I mean to discuss organ transplantation and, especially, what to think about recent proposals to meet the need for transplantable human organs by… More

Regarding Daughters and Sisters: The Rape of Dinah

Commentary, April 1992.
Abstract: Ever since I was a boy, long before I had a wife and daughters, I have always thought and keenly felt that rape is a capital offense, a crime worse even than murder. For the rapist, says the book of Deuteronomy, “death by stoning.” It has never… More

‘I Will Give No Deadly Drug’: Why Doctors Must Not Kill

American College of Surgeons Bulletin 17:3, March 1992. Updated and reprinted in Kathleen Foley, M.D. and Herbert Hendin, M.D., ed., The Case Against Assisted Suicide (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), 17-40. 

Suicide Made Easy: The Evil of ‘Rational’ Humaneness

Commentary, December 1991.
Abstract: Americans have always been a handy people. If know-how were virtue, we would be a nation of saints. Unfortunately, certain old-fashioned taboos—brought to you by the people who know the difference between virtue and dexterity—have prevented… More

Man and Woman: An Old Story

First Things, November 1991.
Excerpt: Man and woman. What are they, and why—each alone and both together? How are they alike and how different? How much is difference due to nature, how much to culture? What difference does—and should—the difference make? What do men want of women… More

A Woman for All Seasons

Commentary, September 1991.
Abstract: One often hears it said, and not only by outsiders, that Judaism is a male-dominated religion that does not properly appreciate its women. The blame for this attitude, say many critics, lies with the Bible itself, which, they allege, is written… More

Death with Dignity and the Sanctity of Life

Commentary, March 1990.
Abstract: Dedicated to the memory of my mother, Chana Kass (1903-1989), my first and best teacher regarding human dignity. “Call no man happy until he is dead.” With these deliberately paradoxical words, the ancient Athenian sage Solon reminds the… More

Neither for Love Nor Money: Why Doctors Must Not Kill

The Public Interest, Number 94:25-46, Winter 1989.
Excerpt: Is the profession of medicine ethically neutral? If so, whence shall we derive the moral norms or principles to govern its practices? If not, how are the norms of professional conduct related to the rest of what makes medicine a profession?

What’s Wrong with Babel?

The American Scholar 58 (1): 41-60, Winter 1989.
Abstract: Traces the history of God’s working with the people of Israel. Book of Genesis, which teaches God as creator and authority, and man as seeking independence and self-sufficiency; First eleven chapters of Genesis and how they present an… More

Doctors Must Not Kill

– With W. Gaylin, E.D. Pellegrino, and M. Siegler, Journal of the American Medical Association 259:2139-40, April 8, 1988.

Professing Ethically: On the Place of Ethics in Defining Medicine

Journal of the American Medical Association 249:1305-1310, 1983.
Abstract: Medicine, despite technological advances and societal changes, remains essentially what it has always been, a profession rather than a trade, with its own ends, means, and intrinsic norms of conduct. Being a professional is an ethical matter,… More

Patenting Life

Commentary, December 1981.
Abstract: Every once in a while, we come upon an event of seemingly minor import which, on reflection, turns out to betoken deep and problematic truths about our culture. The “Patenting of Life” decision is such a significant event.

Ethical Dilemmas in the Care of the III

Journal of the American Medical Association 244:1811-1816 (Part I: “What Is the Physician’s Service?”) and 244:1946-1949 (Part II: “What Is the Patient’s Good?”), 1980.
Abstract: Physicians must continue to rely on their own powers of discernment and prudent judgment and not look to external “expert” guidance or expect simple solutions in facing the myriad ethical dilemmas in caring for the ill. Their ability to… More

Ethical Problems of the New Biology

– Review of Life Manipulation: From Test-tube Babies to Aging by David G. Lygre, Chemical & Engineering News, September 15, 1980, 47-48.

“Making Babies” Revisited

The Public Interest, Number 54:32-60, Winter 1979.
Excerpt: Seven years ago in the pages of this journal, in an article entitled “Making Babies-the New Biology and the ‘Old’ Morality” (Number 26, Winter 1972), I explored some of the moral and political questions raised by projected new powers to… More

The Ethical Dimensions of in Vitro Fertilization

– American Enterprise Institute Press, 1 January 1979.
A Conversation with Dr. Leon Kass: The Ethical Dimensions of in Vitro Fertilization is the edited transcript of a discussion of the ethics and policy issues of research on so-called test tube babies. Dr. Kass is a leading authority on ethical issues in… More

Regarding the End of Medicine and the Pursuit of Health

The Public Interest, Number 40:11-42, Summer 1975.
Excerpt: American medicine is not well. Though it remains the most widely respected of professions, though it has never been more competent technically, it is in trouble, both from without and from within.

Determining Death and Viability in Fetuses and Abortuses

– In Research on the Fetus, Appendix, The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Publication No. (OS) 76-128, 1975.

Making Babies—The New Biology and the ‘Old’ Morality

The Public Interest, 26:18-56, Winter 1972.
Excerpt: Thoughtful men have long known that the campaign for the technological conquest of nature, conducted under the banner of modem science, would someday train its guns against the commanding officer, man himself. That day is fast approaching, if not… More

Refinements in Criteria for the Determination of Death

– A Report by the Task Force on Death and Dying of the Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences, Journal of the American Medical Association 221:48‑53, 1972.
Excerpt: The growing powers of medicine to combat disease and to prolong life have brought longer, healthier lives to many people. They have also brought new and difficult problems, including some which are not only medical but also fundamentally moral and… More

New Beginnings in Life

– In M.P. Hamilton, ed., The New Genetics and the Future of Man (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., 1972), 13-63.

The New Biology: What Price Relieving Man’s Estate?

Science 174:779-788, 1971.
Excerpt: Recent advances in biology and medicine suggest that we may be rapidly acquiring the power to modify and control the capacities and activities of men by direct intervention and manipulation of their bodies and minds. Certain means are already in… More

Death as an Event: A Commentary on Robert Morison

Science 173:698-702, 1971.
Abstract: 1) We have no need to abandon either the concept of death as an event or the efforts to set forth reasonable criteria for determining that a man has indeed died. 2) We need to recover both an attitude that is more accepting of death and a greater… More

What Price the Perfect Baby?

Science 173:103, 1971 (Letter).
Excerpt: In defending himself against the charges made by Rudolf Steinberger (Letters, 9 April), Bentley Glass states that he was merely predicting and not advocating that future state of affairs in which babies would be conceived in laboratories and… More

Problems in the Meaning of Death

Science 170:1235-1236, 1970.
Excerpt: The meaning of death is an abiding human problem. It is perhaps the first such problem, and certainly one of the oldest. Confrontation with dead bodies has been credited by some as the source of man’s self-consciousness. According to this… More

Parallel Behavior of F and Pl in Causing Induction of lysogenic Bacteria

– With J. L. Rosner and M. B. Yarmolinsky,  Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 33:785-789, 1968.
Excerpt: Induction of lysogenic bacteria may be accomplished by a variety of means, all of which involve the loss or inactivation of a prophage-specific system of repression. Thus, in zygotic induction the prophage is freed from its repressor by transfer to a… More

The Antibacterial Activity of 3-Decynoyl-N-acetylcysteamine

Journal of Biological Chemistry 243:3323-3328, 1968.
Abstract: β-Hydroxydecanoyl-thioester dehydrase is known to be the enzyme responsible for the introduction of the double bond into the unsaturated fatty acids ofEscherichia coli, and is known to be vital for bacterial growth. The powerful inhibitor in… More

ß-Hydroxydecanoyl-Thioester Dehydrase II: Modes of action

– With D. J. H. Brock and K. Bloch, Journal of Biological Chemistry 242:4432-4440, 1967.
Abstract The β-hydroxydecanoyl thioester dehydrase of Escherichia coli has a high degree of chain length specificity, catalyzing the dehydration of β-hydroxydecanoyl-N-acetylcysteamine at more than 10 times the rate of the corresponding C8 and… More

K. ß-Hydroxydecanoyl-Thioester Dehydrase I: Purification and properties

– With D. J. H. Brock and K. Bloch, Journal of Biological Chemistry 242:4418-4431, 1967.
Abstract: β-Hydroxydecanoyl thioester dehydrase of Escherichia coli has been purified 1200-fold. Its molecular weight is estimated at 28,000 by gel filtration and by zone sedimentation analysis. At all stages of purification, the enzyme catalyzes the… More

Letter on the Civil Rights Movement

– Letter, Summer 1965, reprinted by
Excerpt: In the summer of 1965, while the Voting Rights Act was being enacted, the editors of this volume, Amy Apfel Kass (b. 1940; then a high school history teacher in Lincoln-Sudbury, Massachusetts) and her husband Leon R. Kass (b. 1939; then a graduate… More