May, William F.

May, William F.

William F. May received his PhD from Yale and taught for many years at Southern Methodist University where he was Cary M. Maguire Professor of Ethics until retirement in May 2001. He was the founding director of their Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. In Sept 2007 he was appointed for a three month period to the Maguire Chair in American History and Ethics at John W. Kluge Center. He is best known for his work in medical ethics.

Biography [PDF]



Internet Resources


Medical Ethics

On the Many Voices of Bioethics, Hastings Center Report, May-June 1994.

The Ethical Foudations of Health Care Reform, Christian Century, June 1994.

Daniel Callahan: On Living Within Limits, Hastings Center Report, Nov-Dec 1996.

The Dutch Story, Christian Century, May 2001 [comments on euthanasia]

Liturgy For Life, Christian Century, Aug/Sept 2001.

Statement on Human Cloning [as member of President's Commission], July 2002.

Deepening A National Conversation - My Take on the President's Council on Bioethics, Practical Bioethics, Winter 2005.

Embracing Mystery, Losing Control, excerpt from Testing the Medical Covenant.

Bioethics Syllabus

Aging: From Fate to Calling

Securing Access to the Healing Pool, Samford University Conference, 2008 [PDF, Response by Wilton Bunch, PDF]


Sexual Ethics

The Molested, Hastings Center Report, May-June 1991.


Political/Social Ethics

Albert Camus, Political Moralist, Christianity & Crisis, Nov 1958

Manichaeism in American Politics, Christianity & Crisis, May 1966

Persuasion & Discernment: The Gifts of Leadership, Review of The President As Leader by Erwin Hargrove, Christian Century, Mar 1999.

Crumbling Pillars: Anarchy At Home & Abroad, Christian Century, July 2003

Professional Leadership: What Kind of Calling?, 2003

The Religious Underpinnings of the Market Place [PDF]

What is Power?, 2007 [PDF]


Book Reviews by May


The Troubled Dream of Life: Living with Mortality (Callahan), Commonweal, Oct 1993

Certain Trumpets: The Call of Leaders, Christian Century, Sept 1994.


Reviews of Books by May

Review of The Physician's Covenant by John Connery, Theology Today, Oct 1984.

Review of The Patient's Ordeal by Diane M. Komp, Theology Today, Jan 1992.

Review of Testing the Covenant, by Gilbert Meilaender, First Things, Nov 1996.



The Giving Tree: A Symposium, First Things, Jan 1995

Summaries of Lectures on "The Moral and Religious Underpinnings of Law & The Market Place" (June 1989), "Vocation, Career and Profession" (1989), "Money and the Professions" (1995)

Topic: May, William F.


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