Matters of Life & Death

In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, brought to you by Premier Unbelievable, John Wyatt and his son Tim discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on these topics, while Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between.

Medical Assistance in Dying: Judicial activism, suicidal ideation, reasons to stay alive, and Hippocrates’ successful medical practice

6 Mar 2024

This week we’re bringing you a classic episode from the MOLAD vault. Medical Assistance in Dying is Canada’s euthanasia programme. It started in 2016 with a Supreme Court decision but has since rapidly expanded and liberalised. The latest battlegroun...

Psychedelics: Shamans and spirits, the philosophy of Harry Potter, delusions of hearing from God, and the neuroscientific turn

28 Feb 2024

Culture is increasingly interested in psychedelic drugs. Whether it’s Silicon Valley execs micro-dosing LSD to turbocharge their meetings, Americans doing ayahuasca weekends in Mexico, or rafts of studies suggesting ketamine can really help in treati...

Q&A: Should single Christians use dating apps if they strike out at church?

21 Feb 2024

A listener has emailed in his dilemma off the back of our recent series of episodes: His small evangelical church teaches a traditional Christian message on relationships and marriage, yet offers single members like him no opportunities to meet like-...

New Creation: Reading the Bible backwards, the ‘opiate of the masses’, Physics 2.0, and the resurrected yet scarred body

14 Feb 2024

Our four-part series on the deeper narrative of the Bible comes to an end with New Creation. Just as with the beginning of the story, this final chapter is often overlooked in many churches and the Christian narrative is compressed simply to fall and...

Egg freezing revisited: What about the ‘surplus’ eggs, and is better contraception part of the solution?

7 Feb 2024

A listener has emailed in two excellent questions in response to our recent episode looking at egg freezing. What happens to the leftover eggs which are frozen but never reimplanted, and can Christians be relaxed about this intrinsic wastefulness of...

Gender gap in church: Onward Christian Soldiers, the only man in a room full of women, Bonhoeffer’s ‘cheap grace’ and Christian dating apps

31 Jan 2024

One major response to our conversation on egg freezing was the idea that for many single Christian women it is a sensible choice given the difficulty in finding a partner/husband. For years it has been often said that the church is disproportionately...

Q&A: The contradictions which underpin anti-suicide efforts in an era of euthanasia, and are there any honest and unbiased journalists left these days?

24 Jan 2024

Some more listener questions: what kind of line is crossed once a country legalises euthanasia and how can a state simultaneously fund suicide prevention for some while offering state-sanctioned and facilitated assisting dying for others? Will this c...

Egg freezing: The ticking biological clock, prosecco and cheese evenings, the culture war over maternal age, and living with wisdom and contentment

17 Jan 2024

Increasing numbers of women are choosing to freeze their eggs in the hope that years down the line they can use these younger, healthier eggs to have children once their relationship, personal, financial or work circumstances are right. And fertility...

Genetics: Libraries of recipe books, BRCA1, Gattaca, and Big Data Towers of Babel

10 Jan 2024

A final classic episode to see us through the Christmas and New Year break. Today we’re returning to an interview with NHS geneticist Melody Redman. Each of us carries around in our cells about 20,000 different genes – a unique set of biological code...

Pregnancy crisis: A constructive Christian response, heads versus hearts, paternalistic gynaecologists, and ambiguity in the ultrasound clinic

3 Jan 2024

Today we’re returning to a classic episode from our back catalogue, with special guest Sophie Guthrie-Kummer from Choices, a Christian crisis pregnancy centre in London. Abortion is a flashpoint issue in both the church and wider culture, with the ve...

Climate anxiety: ’Delay means death’, Extinction Rebellion, throwing pebbles into God’s river, and rediscovering lament

27 Dec 2023

This week we’re bringing you an episode from our back catalogue, this time from March 2022. The latest report from the UN's climate scientists was both incredibly downbeat about climate change and almost entirely ignored by a media fixated on Ukraine...

Q&A: Should we welcome the coming wave of anti-obesity drugs, and what’s at stake in the argument over the 14-day limit on embryo research?

20 Dec 2023

Our final Q&A episode of the year tackles two medical ethics questions in the news recently. The first is Wegovy, the ground-breaking anti-obesity drug which has been a controversial sensation in the United States. It is now available (in very li...

Redemption: Always Plan A, sharing in Christ’s sufferings, a Disney fairy story, and the offensive incarnation

13 Dec 2023

Creation. Fall. Redemption. New Creation. Our series on the theological foundations of Christian ethics and the grand narrative of the Bible has reached the third chapter – redemption. How is the story of what Christ accomplished on the cross a uniqu...

Palliative care: Dogs and Guinness on the wards, complicated grief, DNAR discussions, and resisting assisted dying

6 Dec 2023

John’s on holiday this week so we’re bringing you a classic episode from the Matters of Life and Death vault. A couple of years ago we interviewed Sarah Foot, a Christian palliative care doctor. She spoke about how she treats the physical, mental, so...

Q&A: Why are we ignoring rising death rates among poorer ethnic minority children, and will the flesh-and-blood girlfriend become a thing of the past?

28 Nov 2023

New official data in England reveals an alarming and much under-reported phenomenon – significant increases in mortality among children from the most deprived communities over the last two years. What is driving this concerning uptick in the statisti...

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