The Rev. Dr. James J. McCartney, OSA, is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department of Villanova University and Adjunct Professor in its School of Law. He was Director of Philosophy Doctoral Studies from 2009 until 2013 and Chair of the Department from 1996 until 2001. From 2005 until 2008 he was Special Assistant to the Provincial for Development, Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. He teaches courses in bioethics, clinical ethics, bioethics and the law, the philosophy of medicine, and the philosophy of law. He serves on the editorial board of HealthCare Ethics Committee Forum. He is a priest and a member of the Order of St. Augustine, a worldwide religious community in the Roman Catholic tradition. On weekends he celebrates Mass at St. George in Glenolden, PA.
He received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University in 1981 and also has graduate degrees in cell and molecular biology (M.S., The Catholic University of America) and theology (M.A., Augustinian College). He has co-edited three books: The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life, Prometheus Press, 2006; Health, Disease and Illness: Concepts of Medicine, Georgetown University Press, 2004, and Concepts of Health and Disease, Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Addison-Wesley, 1981. He has authored numerous articles and a book, Unborn Persons: Pope John Paul II and the Abortion Debate, Peter Lang, 1987. Two important articles of his deal with stem cell research: "Recent Ethical Controversies About Stem Cell Research" in Stem Cell Research, pp. 87-119, edited by James M. Humber and Robert F. Almeder, Humana Press, 2004 and "Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Respect for Human Life: Philosophical and Legal Reflections," Albany Law Review 65:3 (2002):597-624. He also contributed a chapter in The Penn Center Guide to Bioethics entitled “Hospital Ethics Committees and Ethics Consultants.”
Before coming to Villanova University he lived in Miami, FL, from 1980 until 1988 where he was the Director of the Bioethics Institute at St. Francis Hospital in Miami Beach and served on several ethics committees of hospitals and nursing homes in South Florida. He was also an Associate Professor of Humanities at St. Thomas University as well as Professor of Jurisprudence at its School of Law. He was also Professor of Moral Theology at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. From 1980 until 1985 he was Academic Vice President at St. Thomas University. Before he came to Miami he was a faculty member at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and a research associate at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. He was honored by Esquire Magazine in December 1987 for his support and advocacy for persons infected and affected by AIDS and HIV in Miami-Dade County.