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Thomas Eric Ruthford

Thomas Eric Ruthford is available to speak on:  Bioethics, Fatherhood, Parenting, Motherhood, Writing, and High-risk Infants



Thomas Eric Ruthford and his wife, Miriam, were celebrating Pascha in 2012 and expecting their first baby in four months. Miri felt kicks for the first time during Holy Week. The night after Pascha, though, Miri started having cramps, which, turned out to be pre-term labor. Doctors offered Miri an abortion, and, nine days later, when birth appeared imminent, they said they would not treat the baby, Gabriel, if he were born before midnight because he had not yet reached 23 weeks of gestation.
This dilemma and experience in the hospital has become Ruthford’s second book, Please Cry: A Father’s View From Outside the Incubator, for which he is currently looking for a publisher. Ruthford has spoken at nursing schools and medical ethics seminars and is a regular blogger at, the most prominent web site for preemie-parent blogging on the Internet. He recently spoke at Washington State University-Spokane about his experience, a video of which is available here.
Ruthford has a BA in Communication and History from Pacific Lutheran University and an MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. He has been Orthodox since 2001, and his first book, Heaven Help the Single Christian: Your (Practical) Guide to Navigating Church as You Search for a Godly Mate came out in 2010.
He and his wife and son live in the Seattle area.

Ruthford is available to speak on bioethics and treatment of newborns who are considered unlikely to survive. His talks cover:
—National changes in policies on treatment of extremely immature infants, some of which have changed since Gabriel’s birth.
—Needs of families in a crisis birth
—How to retain the personhood of a newborn during discussions with doctors about whether to treat.
—A mother’s forty days at home — all spent at the hospital
—A Christian understanding of medical futility versus the doctors’ understanding
—What use is a father when machines and nurses do all the work?
—The hospital ethics committee and changes that families can push for.


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