There are a few websites reporting that Edmund Pellegrino died yesterday. Wikipedia has attached a date of death to his entry. I can’t find any news sites independently confirming this, but if it is true, then a great voice for bioethics, and Christian bioethics in particular, has been silenced.
I don’t have the eloquence to write a fitting tribute, and will leave that task to others better equipped than I. The extent of his influence is impossible to measure. I can only speak for myself: my interest in studying bioethics began in medical school when I read an article written by Dr. Pellegrino, and was fueled by many of his writings over the years; my choice of Family Medicine as a specialty, with its particular emphasis on the healing virtue of the patient-physician relationship, was heavily influenced by Dr. Pellegrino’s writings on that topic; and the teaching that I do in ethics is steeped in his Hippocratism. He was so prolific an author that I will continue to meet him in those writings of his that I have yet to read, which are many. But I, and many others, will be sorry not to have his leadership and wisdom to address the ethical challenges that lie ahead.