About Ellen Painter Dollar

Ellen Painter Dollar is a writer focusing on faith, parenting, family, disability, and ethics. She is the author of No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Faith, and Parenthood in an Age of Advanced Reproduction (Westminster John Knox, 2012). Visit her web site at http://ellenpainterdollar.com for more on her writing and speaking, and to sign up for a (very) occasional email newsletter.

On Three-Parent IVF and the Act of Begetting

Every few months, a story pops up about a new frontier in reproductive medical technologies: so-called “three-parent IVF.” NPR recently reported on efforts in Britain to allow embryos created via this technique to be transferred into women’s uteruses, while a New York Times Magazine cover article last summer focused on whether the Federal  Drug Administration would approve human clinical [Read More...]

Not All Pain is Gain

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Not all pain is gain. Pain is not always fixable. This is the truth. But it is not a hopeless truth. [Read more...]

Revelation on an Ordinary Wednesday

(This post is a departure for me, more of a creative semi-autobiographical vignette, perhaps even a piece of what could become a short story. Whatever it is, it has been wanting to be written for many weeks now.) She was alone in the kitchen, the weak gray light and clink of dishes as she unloaded [Read More...]

When Failure Leads to Blessing

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the [Read More...]

Bittersweet Bedtime Stories

My two younger kids were feeling nostalgic the other night. While they have long been in the habit of reading on their own at bedtime, last night they pulled a few favorite picture books off the shelf (The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel, and a falling-apart-and-taped-and-retaped copy of Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy World that was [Read More...]

Shame on You, RNS, for That Brittany Maynard Poll

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At first, I thought it was Onion-style satire. I kept seeing a link show up in my Facebook feed to a Religion News Service (RNS) poll asking, “If you were Brittany Maynard, what would you do?” The link was not to another blog post or essay discussing Brittany Maynard’s decision to pre-emptively end her life [Read More...]

It’s Still a No Brainer for Christians to Support Gun Law Reform

When it comes to many controversial sociopolitical issues facing Christians (and everyone else) today, I usually take, or at least acknowledge, a middle road. For example, on the use of genetic and reproductive technologies, such as IVF, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and prenatal screening, I write with the intent of educating people so they can ask [Read More...]

A Christian Response to Brittany Maynard’s Decision to Die

The face on this week’s People magazine cover is Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old, recently married woman who went public with her plan to take a fatal prescription on November 1, rather than live with her terminal brain cancer until its deadly end. Her reasons include not merely avoiding the suffering she expects to experience, but also protecting her loved ones [Read More...]


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