Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 73(1) February 2023

Book Review

Moment: A novel

by Miles Christie. Beati Publishing

Reviewed by Pravin Thevathasan

Book CoverI found this book to be a really useful reminder of why we need to be pro-life. The graphic format suggests that the book is aimed at young people. Not too young, I would suggest, as the descrip­tions of the abortion procedures are matter of fact and detailed. And, as one ought to expect, horrifying.
The story is quite simple. A rogue bioethics professor gives a lecture to a group of students. It turns out that he is not the rogue after all. It is surely the abortionists who are guilty of robbing countless human lives.
The book is not religious. All the arguments in favour of life beginning at the moment of concep­tion are based on science. The author gives us a beautiful summary of the development of human life from the moment of conception.
Perhaps wisely, the professor does not detail the so-called hard cases: rape, disability and maternal ill-health. What he wants to tell his audience over and over again is about the moment of concep­tion. That is when human life begins and that is an objective fact. What about distinguishing human life from human personhood. According to this view, the unborn child may be a human being but is not a human person as yet. The trouble with this view, says the professor, is that it is entirely subjective: you decide when personhood begins according to your own "faith". It all sounds a bit pseudo-religious. Maybe the professor should have reminded his audience that the most famous ethicist in the world, Peter Singer, does not think that the new-born baby is a person and therefore, in his view, infanticide is morally okay.
We then have a very detailed description of the various abortion procedures. Members of the audience become increasingly unsettled. This is surely what is needed: we need to wake people up from their moral complacency.I highly recommend this work