Brave New Us

by Samantha Stephenson

A Catholic podcast exploring bioethics in the light of faith

  

Latest Episodes

What Does It Mean to Be Human?

Over the course of this season, we’ve explored the science of changing our genetics, asking which characteristics we ought to change, and why. Who gets to decide? Left to our own devices, do we really understand what’s important about ourselves? If we use genetic editing to “improve” ourselves or our children, will it have the impact we think it will?

Guests appearing in the episode:


Shannon Evans

Shannon Evans is the author of Embracing Weakness: The Unlikely Secret to Changing the World, and writes the Everyday Ignatian column for Jesuits.org. Her passion is opening up deeper waters of contemplation so that our experience of the Divine grows further loving and curious rather than static and complacent. Shannon, her husband Eric, and their five children make their home in central Iowa. You can find Shannon at www.shannonkevans.com.

Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, PhD

Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., is a Dominican priest and a professor at Providence College, RI. His areas of expertise are the biology of cancer, aging, and programmed cell death, health care ethics and bioethics in the Catholic tradition, and philosophical and theological implications of modern evolutionary theory.

Special Thanks:

Lauren Klingman, Mackenzie Kim

“All Will Be Well” original track by Jessica Gerhardt (JessicaGerdardt.com).

For exclusive updates, sign up for our email newsletter at bravenewuspodcast.com, and listen to full interviews at patreon.com/bravenewus.


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Posted on 2 December 2020 | 8:00 am


Carrying the Cross of Suffering

A life filled with suffering isn’t worth living. That’s what we’re told, right? That ending a life is a compassionate choice. As the Netherlands expand their program of euthanasia for children, we need to explore these assumptions that it’s okay to let suffering have the last word.

In this episode, author and speaker Mary Lenaburg shares her experience caring for her severely disable daughter Courtney, and what over 20 years of accompanying her taught her about bearing her cross with joy.

Guests appearing in the episode:


Mary Lenaburg

Mary Lenaburg is a writer, speaker, wife and mother sharing her witness and testimony to groups of all ages about God’s Redeeming love and that faith is the courage to want what God wants for us, even if we cannot see where the path leads. Acceptance + Trust = Unimaginable Joy. Mary is the author of the award-winning book “Be Brave in the Scared: How I Learned to Trust God During my Most Difficult Days” published by Ave Maria Press. She and her husband have been happily married for 32 year, finding joy among the ashes having lost their disabled daughter Courtney in 2014. They live in Northern Virginia with their grown son Jonathan. She continues to embrace her father’s advice: “Never quit, never give up, never lose your faith. It’s the one reason you walk this earth. For God chose this time and place just for you, so make the most of it.” You can find Mary at www.marylenaburg.com.

Special Thanks:

Lauren Klingman, Mackenzie Kim

“All Will Be Well” original track by Jessica Gerhardt (JessicaGerdardt.com).

For exclusive updates, sign up for our email newsletter at bravenewuspodcast.com, and listen to full interviews at patreon.com/bravenewus.


Audio Download

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 8:00 am


What Makes a Life Valuable?

Every life has value, right? What about those who don’t appear able to value their own lives? What about infants whose brief existence is filled with suffering? Can we say that God has a purpose even for them?

Guests appearing in the episode:

Dr. Erica Salter

Erica K. Salter, PhD is an Associate Professor of Health Care Ethics and Pediatrics and the director of the PhD program in Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University and the vice chair of the Ethics Committee at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Her research uncovers and examines the assumptions underlying current dominant concepts in clinical ethics, especially pediatric clinical ethics and clinical ethics consultation with the aim of improving health care decision-making for patients, families and providers. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, Jake, and two kids, Jonah (6) and Leo (3).

Special Thanks:

Lauren Klingman, Mackenzie Kim

“All Will Be Well” original track by Jessica Gerhardt (JessicaGardardt.com).

For exclusive updates, sign up for our email newsletter at bravenewuspodcast.com, and listen to full interviews at patreon.com/bravenewus.


Audio Download

Posted on 18 November 2020 | 8:00 am


Reimagining the Role of Disability in God's Kingdom

When we imagine that some people endure “special” kinds of suffering, we alienate one another. We leave people isolated when what we actually need is each other.

I wanted to explore something Mary shared in the last episode, about this lie that the lives of the disabled are “impossibly hard.” What is it like for families coping with disabilities? What are the solutions we offer them now? Is erasing the disability something they even want, or are they asking for something else?

Guests appearing in the episode:

Dr. Erica Salter

Special Thanks:

Lauren Klingman, Mackenzie Kim

“All Will Be Well” original track by Jessica Gerhardt (JessicaGerdardt.com).

For exclusive updates, sign up for our email newsletter at bravenewuspodcast.com, and listen to full interviews at patreon.com/bravenewus.


Audio Download

Posted on 11 November 2020 | 8:00 am


The New Eugenics

Is it possible to talk about healing a genetic disability without in some way discounting the value of the people who live with these disorders? What will the world be like for people with disabilities as these populations continue to shrink? Is eliminating disability even a worthwhile goal?

Guests appearing in the episode:


Mary Forr Szoch

Mary Forr Szoch is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame where she majored in political science and philosophy. After graduation, Mary received her Masters in Education from Notre Dame through the Alliance for Catholic Education. Mary has taught high school and middle school and has founded a non-profit for adults with special needs. In 2016, Mary became the Director of Life Issues for the Archdiocese of Washington, and in 2019, Mary became the Manager of Catholic Policy and Advocacy and Director of the DC Catholic Conference where she responds to all local legislation impacting the Archdiocese of Washington.

Special Thanks:

Lauren Klingman, Mackenzie Kim

“All Will Be Well” original track by Jessica Gerhardt (JessicaGerdardt.com).

For exclusive updates, sign up for our email newsletter at bravenewuspodcast.com, and listen to full interviews at patreon.com/bravenewus.


Audio Download

Posted on 4 November 2020 | 8:00 am


Using Genetic Editing to Heal Disease

This season on Brave New Us, we’re exploring the field of genetics, its human applications, and the ethical question that arise when we think about using this knowledge to alter the building blocks of who we are.

In this episode, we explore the idea of using this technology to heal an existing condition. What would that mean for the patients involved? Is there something about our genetics that is intrinsic to us, that we wouldn’t want to change?

Guests appearing in the episode:


Emily DeArdo

Emily DeArdo is a Catholic author whose first book, Living Memento Mori: My Journey Through the Stations of the Cross, was published by Ave Maria Press this past January. She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF), an incurable genetic disease, when she was 11 years old, and recently celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of her double lung transplant. You can find Emily at emilymdeardo.com

Special Thanks:

Lauren Klingman, Mackenzie Kim

“All Will Be Well” original track by Jessica Gerhardt.

For exclusive updates, sign up for our email newsletter at bravenewuspodcast.com, and listen to full interviews at patreon.com/bravenewus.


Audio Download

Posted on 28 October 2020 | 7:00 am


Where are we now? The Science of Genetic Editing

This season on Brave New Us, we’re exploring the field of genetics, its human applications, and the ethical question that arise when we think about using this knowledge to alter the building blocks of who we are.

In this episode, we explore the research on genetic editing. Where are we now? Does what we might able to do with genetic editing justify what we need to do to get there? If not, where does that leave us?

Guests appearing in the episode:
Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, PhD

Special Thanks:

Lauren Klingman, Mackenzie Kim

“All Will Be Well” original tack by Jessica Gerhardt.

For exclusive updates, sign up for our email newsletter at bravenewuspodcast.com, and listen to full interviews at patreon.com/bravenewus.


Audio Download

Posted on 21 October 2020 | 7:00 am


Using Genetic Editing for Human Enhancement

This season on Brave New Us, we’re exploring the field of genetics, its human applications, and the ethical question that arise when we think about using this knowledge to alter the building blocks of who we are.

First up, we take a look at human enhancement. What are some of the ways this technology might be able to improve our capabilities or help us ensure that our children have particular characteristics, and why, just maybe, we ought to be cautious about doing so.

Guests appearing in the episode:

Fr. Andrea Vicini, PhD
Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, PhD

“All Will Be Well” original track by Jessica Gerhardt (JessicaGerhardt.com)

For exclusive updates, sign up for our email newsletter at bravenewuspodcast.com, and listen to full interviews at patreon.com/bravenewus.


Audio Download

Posted on 15 October 2020 | 7:00 am


TRAILER

Explore bioethics in the light of faith with Samantha Stephenson. Listen to the trailer now.

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Audio Download

Posted on 29 June 2020 | 3:39 pm