A Three-Part Intensive Series (March 24th – April 7th – April 21st).
When: The seminar meets every other Tuesday evening from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Houston Hall 223, Golkin Room (3417 Spruce Street, University of Pennsylvania)
The Catholic Tradition has a long history of bioethical reasoning and decision making concerning end of life issues. Yet, what ought to be done in specific cases is still challenging for clinicians as well as for patients and their families. These seminars will analyze contemporary real world cases in light of Catholic Bioethics. The goals of each seminar include: 1) furthering participants understanding of the philosophical foundations of the Tradition; 2) enhancing understanding of specific teachings regarding end of life care; and 3) developing skills of practical clinical ethics decision making. These are interactive seminars designed to present material in an engaging format for active learning.
No Advanced Reading or Preparation Required! Those who attend all three sessions will receive a Certificate of Completion.
Session I:What is the End of Life: Ethical Decisions Surrounding Brain Death The Cases of Jaci McGrath and Malise Munoz
What qualifies as brain death? Who decides? What is the Church’s view on the moral status of brain death and what do we owe the unconscious and the dead? What do we owe to fetuses in the context of a brain dead mother.
Session II:Choosing Well at the End of Life: Ethical Decisions Regarding Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment by Self and Others The Cases of Nancy Cruzan, Christopher Reeves, and Tim Bowers
When is it permissible to forego life-sustaining treatment? Is there a moral distinction between withholding and withdrawing end of life care? What are the unique ethical challenges regarding withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH)? Can advanced directives and living wills ever be ignored ethically and if so in what contexts?
Session III: Securing Dignity at the End of Life: Decision Making and Hastening Death The Cases of Theresa Ann Campo Pearson and Brittany Maynard
What is the meaning of “dignity” when we say “Death with Dignity?” Can we ever hasten or cause dying to prevent suffering or to help others? What is the duty of the physician when adequate pain management entails hastening death? Do we have the right to die and if so what does it mean? Is there inherent value in suffering? What if the good to be achieved by death seems so much greater than continued life? What is the ethically appropriate role of the treating physician in these cases?
SEMINAR CO-LED BY:
Sarah-Vaughan Brakman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University. Professor Brakman’s scholarship focuses on clinical bioethics and has been published in, among other places, The Hastings Center Report, The American Journal of Bioethics, Human Reproduction, Hypatia, and Philosophy in the Contemporary World. Professor Brakman is co-editor of the book, The Ethics of Embryo Adoption and the Catholic Tradition (Springer, 2007) and is a nationally recognized expert in the area of the ethics of embryo donation, serving as such for the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to her work on numerous ethics committees throughout the Philadelphia area, Professor Brakman is the Ethics Consultant and Chair of the National Ethics Committee of Devereux, the largest non-profit provider of behavioral and mental healthcare across the United States, where she also serves as a voting member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Kristen Carey Rock is an Assistant Professor in Anesthesia and Critical Care, and a practicing anesthesiologist and intensivist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She has written articles on bioethics in the Penn Bioethics Journal and The Ethics of Embryo Adoption and the Catholic Tradition: Moral Arguments, Economic Reality, Social Analysis (Springer, 2008).
When: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 12 Noon | Lunch will be served Where: Ben Franklin Room (Houston 218)
How did a community that was largely invisible in the first two centuries of its existence go on to remake the civilizations it inhabited, culturally, politically, and intellectually? Beginning with the life of Jesus, Robert Louis Wilken narrates the dramatic spread and development of Christianity over the first thousand years of its history. Moving through the formation of early institutions, practices, and beliefs to the transformations of the Roman world after the conversion of Constantine, he sheds new light on the subsequent stories of Christianity in the Latin West, the Byzantine and Slavic East, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
In this luncheon lecture, Dr. Wilken will be speaking about the book that was ten years in the making.
Robert Louis Wilken is an Emeritus William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia and a Distinguished Fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Wilken is a highly distinguished scholar of early Christianity, and author of numerous books, including The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity (Yale, 2012), The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (Yale, 2005), The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (Yale, 2003), and Remembering the Christian Past (Eerdmans, 1995).
When: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. Where: Shotel Dubin Auditorium, Penn Hillel | 215 South 39th Street
It’s hard to have good arguments about religion. All too often, we either avoid voicing religious disagreements altogether or end up talking past one another. With this lecture and practical workshop, Leah Libresco, a Yale alumna and Christian convert from atheism, seeks to help foster a culture of rational debate about religion on campus.
The first step in having a good argument is accurately representing the views of your opponent. According to Libresco, in order to have good fights about religion, we need to learn about the religious perspectives we disagree with (or think we disagree with!). Libresco developed a method of argument called an ‘Ideological Turing Test’, by which one is tested to see if one can accurately reflect the views of one’s interlocutor. She’ll be giving a short lecture about why rational argument about religion is important, then leading the audience in an ‘Ideological Turing Test’ and teaching them how to do it themselves.
Leah Libresco is a writer and school systems analyst based in Washington, D.C. A former atheist blogger and writer for the Huffington Post, Ms. Libresco stunned her readers in summer 2012 when she announced that she was converting to Catholicism. Raised in an atheist household on Long Island, she had graduated from Yale University in 2011 with a B.A. in political science.
Hosted by the Collegium Institute Student Association at Penn.
Finding Aristotle’s Ethics and the Good Life in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day
Second Annual Anscombe Lecture in Ethics
When: Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 at 12 Noon — Lunch will be served Where: Amado Room, Irvine Auditorium 110 | 3401 Spruce Street
Dr. Peter Wicks, Catherine of Sienna Fellow in Ethics, Villanova University
Peter Wicks is Catherine of Siena Fellow in the Ethics Program of Villanova University. He was born in London and educated at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 2010. His doctoral dissertation interrogated the role of language in the formation of moral judgment. He is currently working on a book on Princeton Philosopher Peter Singer and the appeal of utilitarian ethics.
To RSVP for the lunch and lecture, please click here.
The Annual AnscombeLecture in Ethics commemorates Elizabeth Anscombe (1919 – 2001), former Penn Professor ofPhilosophy and one of the most influential woman philosophers and Catholic intellectuals ofthe modern era.