James J McCartney

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Description of Bioethics Expertise

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Villanova University, Villanova PA 19085

tel: 610.519.4725
fax: 610.520.4510


The Rev. Dr. James J. McCartney, OSA, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy of Villanova University near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was Chair of this Department from 1996 until 2001. He teaches courses in ethics, health care ethics, bioethics and the law, the philosophy of medicine, and the philosophy of law. He serves on the editorial board of HealthCare Ethics Committee Forum. He is a priest and a member of the Order of St. Augustine, a worldwide religious community in the Roman Catholic tradition, and is Prior and Treasurer of the Augustinian Community of Saxony Hall in Rosemont, PA.

He received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University in 1981 and also has graduate degrees in cell and molecular biology (M.S., The Catholic University of America) and theology (M.A., Washington Theological Union). He has co-edited three books: The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life, Prometheus Press, 2006; Health, Disease and Illness: Concepts of Medicine, Georgetown University Press, 2004, and Concepts of Health and Disease, Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Addison-Wesley, 1981. He has authored numerous articles and a book, Unborn Persons: Pope John Paul II and the Abortion Debate, Peter Lang, 1987. Two of his most recent articles deal with stem cell research: "Recent Ethical Controversies About Stem Cell Research" in Stem Cell Research, pp. 87-119, edited by James M. Humber and Robert F. Almeder, Humana Press, 2004 and "Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Respect for Human Life: Philosophical and Legal Reflections," Albany Law Review 65:3 (2002):597-624.

Before coming to Villanova University he lived in Miami, FL, from 1980 until 1988 where he was the Director of the Bioethics Institute at St. Francis Hospital in Miami Beach and served on several ethics committees of hospitals and nursing homes in South Florida. He was also an Associate Professor of Humanities at St. Thomas University as well as Professor of Jurisprudence at its School of Law. He was also Professor of Moral Theology at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. From 1980 until 1985 he was Academic Vice President at St. Thomas University. Before he came to Miami he was a faculty member at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and a research associate at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.

He was selected as the participant from the United States at an international workshop on "Human Life --- Human Personhood" held in Bombay, India, during December, 1988. In July 1992 he was invited to give a paper on genetics and ethics at an international genetics conference in Brno, The Czech Republic, the city where another Augustinian, Gregor Mendel, discovered the laws of heredity and variation. In 1995 he presented several workshops to various hospital ethics committees in Puerto Rico. He lectures frequently on bioethical subjects both locally and nationally.
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Last updated: 01/22/2010
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