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Chalcedon's Open Letter to the Universal Law Commission in Regards to the Proposed Re-Definition of Legal Death, April 17, 2023

Mark R. Rushdoony
Martin G. Selbrede
  • Mark R. Rushdoony,
  • Martin G. Selbrede,
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The ethics of life and death decisions have not kept up with medical science, and the result has been the progressive mutation of the concept of the “benefit of the doubt.” The attempt to frame the criteria for “doubt” in the four-decades-old Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) triggered a string of subsequent litigations, indicative of instabilities and internal contradictions in the codification. The legal realities are motivating the calls to revise UDDA in recognition that it is problematic, but disagreement over the revision route now prevails given the conflicting agendas hoping to bend UDDA’s core definitions and presuppositions. Given the focus of UDDA’s concern (a patient in serious trouble), it is no surprise that the term “benefit” and “doubt” are mutually reflexive: there is doubt regarding life and death, and there is doubt that the patient gains any benefit from continued medical intervention.


Mark R. Rushdoony
  • Mark R. Rushdoony

Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.

He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.

In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at www.chalcedon.edu. His biography of his father will be published later this year (2024).

He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.

Mark Rushdoony has lived in Vallecito, California, since 1978.  His wife, Darlene, and he have been married since 1976. His youngest son still resides with him. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.

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Martin G. Selbrede
  • Martin G. Selbrede

Martin is the senior researcher for Chalcedon’s ongoing work of Christian scholarship, along with being the senior editor for Chalcedon’s publications, Arise & Build and The Chalcedon Report. He is considered a foremost expert in the thinking of R.J. Rushdoony. A sought-after speaker, Martin travels extensively and lectures on behalf of Christian Reconstruction and the Chalcedon Foundation. He is also an accomplished musician and composer.

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