Ramsey Award

The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network and the Paul Ramsey Award Nominating Committee are pleased to announce Professor David Albert Jones as the recipient of the 2017 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics.

Professor Jones is Director of The Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford, England, the UK’s oldest national research center in bioethics (est. 1977), engaging in scholarship, public debate, and education. Prof. Jones is also a Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University, and a Research Fellow at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Ben Mitchell, Ph.D., Chair of the Paul Ramsey Award Nominating Committee, said of Prof. Jones’ selection:

Having worked tirelessly on “ethics at the edges of life,” David Albert Jones is a worthy heir of the late Paul Ramsey’s concern for those who suffer, especially those most vulnerable.

A scholar, thought-leader, and galvanizer, Jones is leader in ethics education in Europe.

Upon learning he had been selected for the Ramsey Award, Prof. Jones replied:

I am honoured to be recipient of the 2017 Paul Ramsey Award, to be associated with his name and to be associated with former recipients, a great cloud of witnesses. Ramsey was the doctoral supervisor of my doctoral supervisor, and the first writer who taught me to acknowledge the essential indignity of death and the dignity of the person who dies well. Technologies and societies change but the greatest challenge remains to see the patient as person and the doctor as person.

Professor Jones read Natural Sciences and Philosophy at Cambridge (1984-1987), and Theology at Oxford (1992-2000). In 2002 he was appointed Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University, Twickenham where he helped establish an MA in Bioethics. Subsequently, he was appointed Professor in Bioethics and co-founded the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies. Professor Jones’ doctorate was published as Approaching the End: a theological exploration of death and dying (Oxford University Press, 2007). His previous book The Soul of the Embryo: An enquiry into the status of the human embryo in the Christian tradition (Continuum, 2004) was short-listed for the Michael Ramsey Prize.

He is Vice-Chair of the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee, an examiner for the Society of Apothecaries Diploma in the Philosophy of Medicine, and serves on the steering group of the End of Life Care Audit – Dying in Hospital. He is a member of the Health and Social Care Advisory Group and the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and is a member of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) Working Group on Ethics in Research and Medicine. In 2009 he was a member of a working party of the General Medical Council which helped draft its 2010 guidance on Treatment and Care Towards the End of Life, and was also on the National Reference Group of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient. He has contributed to a number of documents of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, including A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Care of the Dying Person (CTS, 2010). His most recent book, co-authored with Stephen Barrie, is Thinking Christian Ethos: the meaning of Catholic education (CTS, 2015).

Who was Paul Ramsey?

Paul Ramsey is regarded by many as one of the most important ethicists of the twentieth century. He was a distinguished writer on bioethics a generation ago, and served as Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion, Princeton University. Ramsey shines as an almost lone beacon in the general darkness of academic bioethics, since his commitment to the sanctity and dignity of human life was paramount.

About The Paul Ramsey Award

The Paul Ramsey Award honors those who have made an outstanding contribution to the bioethics discussion and are actively engaged in society; facing the challenges of the 21st century, profoundly defending the dignity of humankind, and enthusiastically embracing ethical biotechnology for the human good. The Ramsey Award is given to those who have demonstrated exemplary achievement in the field of bioethics.

Previous Ramsey Award Recipients

  • 2004: Edmund D. Pellegrino
  • 2005: Germain Grisez
  • 2006: John M. Finnis
  • 2007: William E. May
  • 2008: Albert S. Moraczewski
  • 2009: Gilbert Meilaender
  • 2010: Leon Kass
  • 2011: Luke Gormally
  • 2012: Mary Ann Glendon
  • 2013: David Solomon
  • 2014: Daniel Sulmasy
  • 2015: John F. Kilner
  • 2016: Brent Waters