Daniel Callahan

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Daniel Callahan
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|birth_place = Washington D.C.|death_date = |death_place = United States|American}}|fields = Bioethics, philosophy, ethics, medical ethics, health policy|workplaces = Harvard University (Ph.D.)Georgetown University (Master of Arts>M.A.)Yale University (B.A.)|doctoral_advisor = |academic_advisors = |doctoral_students = |notable_students = |known_for = |influences = |influenced = |awards = |religion = |signature = |signature_alt = |children = 6|spouse = Sidney DeShazo }}Daniel Callahan (born July 19, 1930) is an American philosopher who played a leading role in developing the field of biomedical ethics as co-founder of The Hastings Center, the world's first bioethics research institute.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Gale Encyclopedia of Biography, The Gale Group, Inc.,weblink Daniel Callahan, 2006, He's the author or editor of 47 books. He is currently a Senior Research Scholar and President Emeritus of the Hastings Center.

Life and career


Daniel Callahan was born in Washington, D.C. on July 19, 1930.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Encyclopedia of World Biography, Thomson Gale, Daniel Callahan, 2004, In high school Callahan was a swimmer and chose to attend Yale University because of its competitive swimming program. While at Yale, he was drawn to interdisciplinary studies and graduated in 1952 with a double degree in English and Philosophy. He received the M.A. degree from Georgetown University in 1956 and the Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard in 1965.Daniel Callahan Director of international programs www.The The hasting center

Catholic Intellectual

From 1961 to 1968, Callahan worked as executive editor of Commonweal, a Catholic journal of opinion. Callahan became an influential writer and author within Catholic intellectual circles during this period, which was a tumultuous time in the Catholic Church. In addition to numerous articles in Commonweal, he wrote or edited nine books, including The Mind of the Catholic Layman, Honesty in the Church, and The Catholic Case for Contraception. The historian Rodger Van Allen once described Callahan as “perhaps the most influential Catholic layman of the 1960s.”WEB,weblink Daniel Callahan & Bioethics {{!, Commonweal Magazine||language=en|access-date=2018-01-19}}

Abortion Issue

During the late 1960s, Callahan left the Catholic Church—later explaining his disenchantment in the book Once a Catholic—and became interested in the intersection of medicine and ethics. With support from the Population CouncilNEWS,weblink Pro-Choice Vs. Pro-Life Is a Moral Dilemma, Says Daniel Callahan: We Carry Both Traditions Within Us, Giovanna Breu, August 12, 1985, People magazine, and the Ford Foundation, Callahan traveled around the world to study how different countries approached the issue of abortion, as well as ethical issues in family planning and population control. The result was the groundbreaking 1970 book Abortion: Law, Choice, and Morality.BOOK,weblink ABORTION: Law, Choice and Morality by Daniel Callahan {{!, Kirkus Reviews|language=en-us}} Callahan would remain involved in debates over abortion for years to come and was often interviewed by the media on this subject. He described himself as "51 percent pro-choice.BOOK,weblink Micro-Politics: Agency in a Postfeminist Era, Mann, Patricia S., 1994, U of Minnesota Press, 9781452901770, en, In 1984, he and wife Sidney Callahan—who took a pro-life position—co-edited a book, Abortion: Understanding Differences, that included essays from people on all sides of this issue. The couple's longstanding differences on abortion were once the subject of a feature in People magazine and they engaged in a number of public debates on abortion, including on PBS's MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.NEWS,weblink Pro-Choice Vs. Pro-Life Is a Moral Dilemma, Says Daniel Callahan: We Carry Both Traditions Within Us,, 2018-01-19, en,


In 1969, Callahan cofounded the Hasting Center with Willard Gaylin, a noted psychiatrist. The center, originally named the Institute for Society, Ethics, and Life Sciences, and based in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, was the world's first research organization devoted to bioethics. It played a pioneering role in developing this field by bringing together scholars from across different disciplines, including medicine, law, science, and philosophy. Such noted leaders in bioethics, such as Arthur Caplan and Robert Veatch, began their careers at the Hastings Center. Callahan served as the center's director from its inception to September 1, 1996.In honour of Daniel Callahan: A medieval disputation on bioethics November 01, 1996. Humane care international. Margaret A. Somerville During that time, he wrote numerous articles and edited multiple books, including on issues of death and dying and genetics.

Health Care

In 1987, Callahan published Setting Limits: Medical Goals in an Aging Society, a book that argued that U.S. society would need to limit expensive care for elderly Americans. Upon its publication, The New York Times Book Review wrote: "This is a pivotal work that poses hard questions and proposes provocative answers. Setting Limits promises to be the benchmark for future moral, medical and policy discussions of aging."WEB,weblink Setting Limits {{!, Georgetown University Press||language=en|access-date=2018-01-19}} The book attracted wide attention and generated significant controversy, including two volumes of essays debating or criticizing Callahan's ideas.BOOK,weblink Set No Limits: A Rebuttal to Daniel Callahan's Proposal to Limit Health Care for the Elderly, 1991-10-01, University of Illinois Press, 9780252018602, Barry, Robert L., y First printing, Urbana, English, Bradley, Gerard, In 2009, Callahan was interviewed by NPR about his reflections on Setting Limits as he aged and responded to charges of hypocrisy for benefitting from expensive medical interventions.NEWS,weblink Renowned Ethicist Says To 'Set Limits' On Health Care,, 2018-01-19, en, Callahan followed up on Setting Limits with a series of books on health care, aging, technology, and mortality. These included What Kind of Life: The Limits of Medical Progress (Simon & Schuster, 1990), The Troubled Dream of Life: In Search of a Peaceful Death (Simon & Schuster, 1993); False Hopes (Simon & Schuster & Rutgers University Press, 1998); What Price Better Health? Hazards of the Research Imperative (University of California Press, 2003); Medicine and the Market: Equity vs. Choice (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006); and Taming the Beloved Beast: Why Medical Technology Costs are Destroying Our Health Care System (Princeton University Press, August 2009).Callahan lectured widely on his ideas on health care during this period through the United States and Europe.

Awards and Recognition

Callahan is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences; a former member of the Director's Advisory Committee, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and of the Advisory Council, Office of Scientific Responsibility, Department of Health and Human Services. He was awarded the Freedom and Scientific Responsibility Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1996weblink Daniel Callahan He was awarded the 2008 Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He has testified in Congress on stem cell research and other issues.

Published works

Callahan is the author or editor of 47 books. In addition his books on abortion and health care, he author of The Tyranny of Survival (1973); Ethics in Hard Times (1982); The Roots of Bioethics: Health, Progress, Technology, Death (Oxford University Press, 2012); and The Five Horsemen of The Modern World: Climate, Food, Water, Chronic Illness, and Obesity (Columbia University Press, 2016). In addition, he's the author of a memoir, In Search of the Good: A Life in Bioethics (MIT Press, 2012). Callahan has contributed articles to The New York Times, Daedalus, Harpers, The Atlantic, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The New Republic, Health Affairs, and other newspapers and journals."Daniel Callahan" Yale-Hasting program in Ethics and health policy

Personal life

In 1954 Callahan married Sidney DeShazo. They have six children, five boys and one girl, including the writer and editor, David Callahan and the film-maker Peter Callahan.



External links

  • Hastings Center bio
  • {{Internet Archive film clip|id=openmind_ep207|description="The Open Mind - A Recipe for Failure: America's Quest for Perfect Health, Part I (September 27, 2007)"}}
  • {{Internet Archive film clip|id=openmind_ep208|description="The Open Mind - A Recipe for Failure: America's Quest for Perfect Health, Part II (September 27, 2007)"}}
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