EDMUND D. PELLEGRINO has been Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics at the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center since 2001. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, he has authored or co-authored twenty-four books and is the founding editor of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. In 2004, he was named to the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO, and in 2005 he became the chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics. H. TRISTRAM ENGELHARDT, JR., is professor, department of philosophy, at Rice University, and professor emeritus, department of medicine, Baylor College of Medicine. FABRICE JOTTERAND is assistant professor of philosophy, University of Texas at Dallas, and assistant professor of psychiatry and of clinical sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
"These essays make it clear that there is no universal agreement on the meaning of the term, human dignity. Some argue that human dignity has lost its traditional meaning. Others, by contrast, hold firmly to the view that dignity is an essential identifying and irreducible element of human nature. Still others take a more biological than philosophical or theological viewpoint on the question of the meaning of human dignity. An appreciation of the variety of these views is critical, if we are to understand the divergences in how we think and act in response to the challenges posed by contemporary bioethics." - Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D."