Richard Doerflinger


Richard M. Doerflinger was the associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he worked for more than 34 years. Among his duties wass the preparation of policy statements and congressional testimony on abortion, euthanasia, conscience rights in health care, embryo research, and other medical-moral issues for the bishops’ conference. He is also Adjunct Fellow in Bioethics and Public Policy at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and serves on the advisory board to the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in Bannockburn, Illinois.

Doerflinger has testified before Congress, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the National Institutes of Health, the President’s Council on Bioethics, and several state legislatures on the way public policy treats human life at its most vulnerable stages. His writings on medical ethics and public policy include contributions to the Journal of Law, Medicine & EthicsHastings Center ReportDuquesne Law ReviewCell Proliferation, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, the Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine (Our Sunday Visitor Press, 1997), the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, and the American Journal of Bioethics. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in divinity from the University of Chicago and has conducted doctoral studies in theology at that institution and the Catholic University of America. 

In January 2009, Doerflinger was honored as one of the first recipients of the Gerard Health Foundation’s “Life Prize,” recognizing his efforts to awaken the conscience of America to the sanctity of human life. In April 2011, he was named the first recipient of the Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal, awarded annually by the Center for Ethics and Culture “to honor individuals whose outstanding efforts have served to proclaim the Gospel of Life by steadfastly affirming and defending the sanctity of human life from its earliest stages.”

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