Doerflinger, Richard M.
10 Articles at

Richard M. Doerflinger
Deputy Director
Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Washington, D.C.


New! Political Malpractice: Efforts to Mislead Physicians about State Abortion Laws

While physicians may have legitimate questions about the new state abortion laws, the organized campaign to attack them as banning sound medical judgment is a disservice to physicians and patients alike.

Date posted: 2022-08-05

Assisted Suicide: The Ethics, the Laws, and the Dangers

The people most harmed by this agenda are seriously ill people hearing from society and physicians that death by overdose will end their problems; other patients suffering from a reduced commitment to care; people with disabilities who are next in line to be seen as a "burden" on others; and lonely and depressed people of any age, seduced by the message that suicide is a positive solution. Adapted from a lecture delivered in June 2019 at the Vita Institute, an educational program for pro-life leaders sponsored by the University of Notre Dame's de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.

Date posted: 2019-08-18

New York Courts Rule Against "Aid in Dying" and Warn of Its Dangers

New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled on September 7 that there is no state constitutional ";right" to what supporters call "aid in dying" for the terminally ill. News media reported this as a defeat for the physician-assisted suicide lobby. Less widely understood is what a complete defeat this ruling was - and what it suggests for the future."

Date posted: 2017-10-01

Flirting with Death

Did New Jersey's Assembly approve an assisted suicide bill without understanding it? The bill is bad public policy, shot through with dangerous loopholes and contradictions that threaten to push many vulnerable citizens of New Jersey toward death.

Date posted: 2015-02-17

Conscientious Abortions? We Don't Need New Laws Protecting Abortionists

A recent argument that abortion providers deserve the same legal protection as pro-life medical providers is philosophically flawed and ignores legal and popular consensus on the evil of abortion.

Date posted: 2014-03-18

On Abortion Rates: Good News and Cause for Reflection

American abortion rates are falling significantly. Although the Guttmacher Institute tries to hide the chief causes of this trend, cutting through the spin reveals that pro-life laws and attitudes help reduce the abortion rate and the abortion ratio.

Date posted: 2014-03-16

What Reduces Abortions?

Many women are pressured toward abortion, and they need our help. The pressures are partly, but only partly, economic in nature. Women are influenced by husbands, boyfriends, parents and friends, and by a culture and legal system that tells them the child they carry has no rights and is of no consequence.

Date posted: 2008-10-17

We've Decided to Have a Clone

So what would I say if a couple of my acquaintance said, "We'd like to have a daughter by cloning"? What's wrong with that? My first questions might be: "What do you mean, 'we'? What do you mean, 'daughter'?" These terms suddenly become unclear, because cloning is so radically different from any reproductive method we have seen in humans. The nucleus from a human body cell is transferred into an egg whose nucleus has been removed or inactivated. The resulting cell is stimulated by an electric pulse to begin human development. There is no fertilization of egg by sperm, no uniting of male and female - this is asexual reproduction, generally found in lower forms of life.

Date posted: 2008-09-25

John Paul II on the "Vegetative State"

In a March 20 address, Pope John Paul II made a very significant contribution to an ethical debate that has troubled Catholic ethicists in the United States and elsewhere for many years: The feeding of patients diagnosed as being in a "vegetative" state.

Date posted: 2004-05-24

Congressional Impasse on Human Cloning

It is increasingly clear that the debate on human cloning is not just about the human embryo -- it is not about disagreements on "when life begins." It is about an agenda for treating some classes of human beings, potentially at any stage of development, as "manufactures" and thus as mere commodities in an age of biotechnology. The prospect raised by these developments is nothing less than a new form of slavery, in which one class of humanity can produce and exploit (perhaps even buy and sell) other humans for profit, all in the name of human progress. It remains to be seen how many members of Congress will realize what kind of Brave New World is on the horizon -- due in part to their own inaction.

Date posted: 2004-05-14