Programs

One-day Workshop:
A Crash Course In Catholic Ethics

This workshop aims to provide those who work in Catholic health care facilities with an understanding of the Catholic tradition in moral thought, especially as reflected in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, an important document that serves to guide moral decision-making in Catholic facilities.

The dialogue between medical science and Christian faith has for its primary purpose the common good of all human persons. It presupposes that science and faith do not contradict each other. Both are grounded in respect for truth and freedom. As new knowledge and new technologies expand, each person must form a correct conscience based on the moral norms for proper health care.
 

WHO WILL BENEFIT?
The workshop will be especially helpful for those who serve on ethics committees, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Others will profit as well, among them: Sponsors, CEOs, Medical Directors, VPs for Nursing, Directors of Social Work, Mission Directors, and Directors of Pastoral Care. Physicians and nurses are especially welcome.
 
THEORY:
The morning sessions present the theory animating the Catholic moral tradition. Passages from The Catechism of the Catholic Church will be discussed as the participants learn to appreciate the five pillars of the Catholic moral tradition.
 
PRACTICE:
In the afternoon, the practice of the Catholic moral tradition is seen as participants read and study some pertinent sections of the 2001 document of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
 
THE PRIMARY AIM:
The Workshop aims to provide the participants with an understanding of the basic principles undergirding Catholic ethical reflection in order to see how the healing ministry of Jesus Christ is the prime directive of Catholic health care facilities. The compatibility of faith and reason is key as the participants will be helped to see the reasonable nature as well as the Gospel values animating the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. A secondary aim will be to give participants a forum to discuss those issues that most characterize the ministry of a Catholic health care facility.
 
OVERALL DESIGN:
There will be 4 presentations with time set aside for participation and discussion. A variety of teaching aids will be used. Participants will be provided with the complete text of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

  • Catholic Tradition: The first presentation discusses the reasonableness of the Catholic tradition. Special attention is devoted to the areas of the natural moral law and the role of conscience.
     
  • Catholic Morality: The second presentation examines the faith dimension animating Catholic morality. The role of sacred scripture and the place of the magisterium will be presented and discussed.
     
  • Religious Directives Structure: The third presentation begins to put the theory into practice as the overall structure of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services is presented, analyzed, and its role noted as a magisterial document of the NCCB yet one also eminently wedded to rational reflection.
     
  • Religious Directives Rationale: The fourth presentation investigates the rationale behind those Catholic teachings appearing in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services that are often misunderstood. The dignity of the human person from the first moment of the process of conception to the last moment of natural death serves as the touchstone for these Church teachings. Fertility, assisted reproduction, euthanasia, and sterilization are among the issues considered in light of the principles learned in previous sessions.