H. Tristram Engelhardt (1941-2018)


H. Tristram Engelhardt, Professor of History and Philosophy of Medicine at Rice University and Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, died last week, age 77.

Professor Engelhardt was known for his work in biomedical ethics, especially his book, The Foundations of Bioethics. He was one of the founders of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy and one of the creators of the Philosophy and Medicine book series.

He earned his BA (1963) and PhD (1969) at the University of Texas, Austin, and his MD (1972) from Tulane University. He taught at the University of Texas Medical School and Georgetown University before moving to Rice and Baylor in 1982.

In an obituary at Bioethics.net, Ana S. Iltis and Mark J. Cherry note that Professor Engelhardt was “described as the enfant terrible of bioethics” who”challenged Western secular liberal moral and political assumptions which, he argued, could not be secured through reason alone, and frequently cause more harm than benefit.” There are also memorial notices at the Rice University websiteReasonand the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.

 

guest
4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joshua Reagan
Joshua Reagan
2 years ago

He was a great professor. It was such a blessing to have had him as a teacher and a friend. He will be missed.Report

docfe
docfe
Reply to  Joshua Reagan
2 years ago

I envy you having had him as a prof. Always admired his analyses of issues and papers. As noted I used his articles for many years (in my comment) and would have been honored to be his student and to converse with him about those important medical ethics issues. I appreciate your comment from student to your teacher.Report

docfe
docfe
2 years ago

I started teaching medical ethics in the mid-70’s and throughout my 35 years of doing so used innumerable articles of his. Always thought provoking, well stated, well argued; a true master of his field. So sorry he is gone.Report

Eric Chwang
Eric Chwang
2 years ago

“You can’t ban cloning. That’s why God created off-shore islands.”

—Tris Englehardt—Report