Ethics and the Medical Profession

A Treatment of Key Vocational and Ethical Issues Related to Medical Practitioners

Curated from a lecture series by Dr. William Edgar

Course Introduction

About Dr. William Edgar

Rev. Dr. William Edgar (DThéol, Université de Genève) holds the John Boyer Chair of Evangelism and Culture and is professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is also associate professor at the Faculté Jean Calvin.

Dr. Edgar’s primary teaching and research interest is apologetics. He has spent much of his career developing and applying the tradition of covenantal apologetics stemming from the pioneering work of Cornelius Van Til to several specific research interests. These include cultural studies, the art of persuasion, Huguenot history, African American music and culture, Islam, nineteenth century French Protestant apologetics, medical ethics, the question of theodicy, and aesthetics.

For those who are new to Dr. Edgar’s writing and teaching on his research interests, he recommends several resources as places to start. On apologetics and persuasion, consider beginning with Reasons of the Heart: Recovering Christian Persuasion, or with his commentary and notes on Van Til’s Christian Apologetics. Also consider his Introduction to Apologetics course available free online from Westminster. He also writes regularly on social issues for Capital Commentary sponsored by the Center for Public Justice, for example, consider reading “My People: Properly Subversive Theology.”

On music, consider beginning with a recent study on Johannes Brahms’ sacred choral music, “Why Is Light Given to the Miserable?” in It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, or consider his course Music and Christian Aesthetics, also available online from Westminster. Dr. Edgar also runs a jazz band which specializes in Gospel music. His group travels around the globe, helping to bring the Gospel through song to university students. Consider beginning with his popular concert presentation Heaven in a Nightclub, a compelling history of jazz alternating between lecture and piano performance.

Basic Principles

  • Part 1Runtime: 46 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 48 min

The Physician and Calling

  • Part 1Runtime: 48 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 34 min

Personal Testimony

  • Part 1Runtime: 55 min

    Guest Lecture by Laurie and John Szili

  • Part 2Runtime: 48 min

    Guest Lecture by Laurie and John Szili

Birth Control & Genetic Engineering

  • Birth Control & Genetic EngineeringRuntime: 40 min

In-Vitro Insemination

  • Part 1Runtime: 57 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 43 min


  • AbortionRuntime: 49 min

Withholding & Withdrawing Treatment

  • Part 1Runtime: 52 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 34 min

Euthanasia, Living Wills, and Competency

  • Part 1Runtime: 51 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 25 min

Civil Legislation & Hospital Policy

  • Part 1Runtime: 48 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 45 min

Physician-Patient Relationship

  • Physician-Patient RelationshipRuntime: 45 min


  • ConfidentialityRuntime: 52 min

Alternative Medicine

  • Part 1Runtime: 45 min
  • Part 2Runtime: 42 min