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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

John J. Paris, S.J.

theology department


John J. Paris, S.J.

Michael P. Walsh Professor of Bioethics

Stokes N335
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-8434
Fax: 617-552-0794

Personal Web Site

Office Hours

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., M.A., Social Ethics, University of Southern California
Ph.L., Philosophy, Weston College
B.D., Theology, Boston College
A.M. (T), Government/Ed., Harvard University
B.S., History, Boston College


Father Paris has served as consultant to the President's Commission for the Study of Ethics in Medicine, the United States Senate Committee on Aging, and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He has published over 100 articles on the area of law, medicine, and ethics; and has served as a consultant and expert witness in many of the landmark biomedical cases, including Quinlan, Brophy, Jobes, Baby K, and Gilgunn.


Legal and medical ethics


Law, Medicine & Ethics Law, Medicine & Public Policy


"Decision Making for Seriously Compromised Newborns: The Importance of Exploring Cultural Differences and Unintended Consequences" (with AA Penn and M. Patrick Moore), Journal of Perinatology, 2013(33), 505-508.

“Physician counseling, informed consent and parental decision making for infants with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome” (with MP Moore and MD Schreiber), Journal of Perinatology, 2012; 32, 748-751.

“Patenting: European Stem Cell Ruling Is Misleading” (with JB Green, J Bernstein, RM Green, KW Goodman, C Tauer), Nature, 2011(479), 41.

“The Resuscitation of “Slow Codes”: Fraud, Lies, and Deception" (with Michael Patrick Moore), The American Journal of Bioethics, 2011: 11(11), 13-29.

“Rationing: A “Decent Minimum” or a “Consumer Driven” Health Care System?, The American Journal of Bioethics, 2011: 11(7), 16-18.

“Standards, Norms and Guidelines for Permissible Withdrawal of Life Support from Seriously Compromised Newborns,“ The American Journal of Bioethics, 2011:11(2):33-34.

“Ethical and Legal Issues in Assisted Ventilation” (with MD Schreiber and MP Moreland) in Goldsmith JP, Karotkin EH and Siede, BL (ed.) Assisted Ventilation of the Neonate (5th ed). St. Louis: Elsevier/Saunders 2011:94-106.

“Does compassion for a family justify providing futile CPR?” (with P Angelos and MD Schreiber), Journal of Perinatology, 2010; 30:770-772.

“Commentary: The ‘Ashley Treatment’ Revisited: What Kind of Fire or Whose Feet?” (with M. Patrick Moore Jr), Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 2010;19:407-416.

“What do you tell the family who asks, ‘What went wrong?’ The truth and nothing but the truth” (with A Chu, P Angelos, et al.), Journal of Perinatology, 2010; 30:513-516.

“Autonomy Does Not Confer Sovereignty on the Patient: A Commentary on the Golubchuk Case,” The American Journal of Bioethics, 2010 10(3):54-74.

“Ethical and Legal Issues in Intensive Care,” in Richard S. Irwin and James M. Rippe (eds.), Manual of Intensive Care Medicine, Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010, 989-996.

“Circulator Arrest in an Brain-Dead Organ Donor: Is the Use of Cardiac Compression Permissible?” (with B Cummings, M Moreland and N Noviski), Journal of Internal Care Medicine, 2009 24(6), 389-392.

“Why Involve Physicians in Assisted Suicide?” American Journal of Bioethics 9(3): March 2009, 32-34.

“A Historical Analysis of Role and Meaning of Conscience,” President’s Council on Bioethics, Washington, DC, 2008:1-14. Accessed Oct. 25, 2008.

“Decisions for Life Made in the Perinatal Period: Who Decides and on Which Standards?” (with Jag Ahluwalia and Christoph Lees), Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2008 Sep;93(5):F332-5.

“Ethical Issues in Resuscitation of Infants at the Margins of Viability,” Practical Bioethics 3(4): March 2008, 10-11.

“End-of-Life Care Decisions,” Forbes, December 10, 2007: 40.

“Parental Refusal of Medical Treatment for a Newborn” (co-author), Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Springer Netherlands, November 2, 2007, 28(5): 427-441.

“Silence Is Not Always Golden in Medical Decision-Making” (with Michael P. Moreland), The American Journal of Bioethics (2007) 7(7):39-48.

“Treatment decision-making for patients with the Herlitz subtype of junctional epidermolysis bullosa” (co-author), Journal of Perinatology (2007) 27, 307-311.

"A Life Too Burdensome," The Tablet, January 6, 2007: 10-11.

"Howe v. MGH and Hudson v. Texas Children's Hospital:  two approaches to resolving family-physician disputes in end-of-care" (with JA Billings, B Cummings and MP Moreland), Journal of Perinatology 2006:26; 726-729.

"Terri Schiavo and the Use of Artificial Nutrition and Fluids: Insights from the Catholic Tradition on End-of-Life Care" Palliative Suppportive Care 2006:4(2);117-120.

"Approaches to end-of-life decision-making in the NICU: Insights from Dostoevsky's The Grand Inquisitor" (with N Graham, MD Schreiber, and M Goodwin), Journal of Perinatology 2006:26; 389-391.

"Legal Ethics: Old Concepts and New Concerns—Judicial Recrusal and Attorney-Client Confidentiality After Sarbanes-Oxley," 19 U.S. Court of Appeals Veterans Appeals Reporter 2006:220-242.

"Did John Paul II’s Allocution on “Life-Sustaining Treatments" Revise Tradition?" (with James F. Keenan and Kenneth R. Himes), Theological Studies 2006:(67); 163-168.

"Has the Emphasis on Autonomy Gone Too Far? Insights form Dostoevsky on Parental Decisionmaking in the NICU" (with Neil Graham, Michael D. Schreiber, Michele Goodwin),  Cambridge Q Healthcare Ethics 2006:15(2);147-151.

"Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light: Not a Metaphor for End-of-Life Care" (with Michael D. Schreiber and Robert Fogerty) in Lynn A. Jansen, Death in the Clinic. Rowman & Littlefield 2006, 118-132.

Media Attention to End-of-Life Cases. Virtual Mentor. December 2005. Available at:  Accessed Dec. 1, 2005.

"Ethical and Legal Issues in Intensive Care" (with Gregory Webster and Frank E. Reardon), in Richard S. Irwin and James M. Rippe (eds.), Manual of Intensive Care Medicine. Philadelphia:  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006:  871-875.

"What Standards Apply to Resuscitation at the Borderline of Gestational Age?" Journal of Perinatology 2005:25:11; 683-684.

"To Feed or Not to Feed: Terri Schiavo and the Use of Artificial Nutrition and Fluids," Southern Medical Journal 2005: 98(8); 757-758.

"In Law, As in Theology," Boston College Magazine 2005; 42-43.

"Resuscitation of the preterm infant against parental wishes" (with Michael D. Schreiber and A Elias-Jones), Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2005;90:F208-F210.

“Resuscitation Decisions for Fetal Infants.” Pediatrics 2005: 115(5):1415.

“Back to the Future: Overcoming Reluctance to Honor In-School DNAR Orders” (with Gregory Webster), American Journal of Bioethics 2005: 5(1):67-69.

“Letter to the Editor: Response to Clark Study on Miller” (with Michael D Schreiber and Frank Reardon), Journal of Perinatology 2005:25:76.

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