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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

News and Updates from The National Catholic Bioethics Center

The NCBC has had an exceptionally busy Winter, and it seems to be getting busier by the day. Here are some of the things we've been up to:

Apart from her brilliant work in some aforementioned court cases, Dr. Marie Hilliard has been preparing a Nurses Seminar meant to provide information and support for bedside nurses as they deal with the challenge of making moral decisions in the face of potentially immoral institutional policies or decisions by superiors.

The conference will explore how Catholic Faith animates the ministry of nurses while delineating how Catholic moral teachings and individual consciences rise to the situations nurses face every day at the bedside and in other roles. This seminar seeks to empower Catholic nurses as it teaches them the numerous ways nurses can be a witness to their faith and have a permanent  influence on healthcare policy and regulation. The conference is sponsored by the National Association of Catholic Nurses and will be held in cooperation with Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee  from March 1-3, 2013. Nurses attending this seminar may be eligible to receive 7.25 Nursing Contact Hours from the Missouri Nurses Association, if applicable.
If you, or anyone you know in the nursing field would like to attend the conference, they can find the registration form here  and may consult the National Association of Catholic Nurses website for more information or to contact a liaison.

Marie will be attending the March For Life in Washington D.C. this Friday. The 40th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade verdict is a significant one for her, as she has dealt with the repercussions of the decision from the time it was made. I will be interviewing her next week for a closer look at her involvement in the fight against abortion, her opinions on the way Roe v. Wade has changed America, and her experiences in her active role at the the March For Life each year.

Dr. Hilliard will also be kept busy as January comes to a close: She is scheduled to appear live on EWTN with Father Mitch Pacwa on January 30th. Father Mitch and Dr. Hilliard will discuss her work and her vast experience in health care, bioethics and public policy
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Our Director of Education, Father Tadeusz (Tad) Pacholczyk, Dr. John Haas, and Dr. Marie Hilliard, recently completed a yearlong intensive series of bioethical seminars in Bismarck, ND. The final seminar, held December 14th-15th, expounded on the difficult topic of cooperation with evil. The seminar sought to explain the categories of cooperation with evil and address related concerns that may arise in the daily operation of healthcare institutions. Father Tad referenced the USCCB's Directives for Catholic Health Care and explained the moral duty to avoid immorally cooperating with evil when dealing with ethical dilemmas. This December meeting was the final installment in the series, which spanned the entire year. Each seminar topic was tailored to address different issues affecting healthcare professionals. The seminar series had as its point of departure, the idea that it is possible for one to be true to science and to faith because the truths of both have the same ultimate source: God. Thus, authentic science and authentic faith will always complement, not contradict, one another.
 The final installment ended on a high and hopeful note, as Father Tad was given a standing ovation and Father James Shea, President of the University of Mary, expressed his interest in future collaborations with the NCBC and its staff. The success of the lecture series proved an inspiration to many and it created a framework for students at the University of Mary to become engaged with bioethical and pro-life concerns. The University also used the lectures as an occasion to initiate further seminar opportunities for students dealing with various topics in bioethics. The NCBC is grateful to God for the success of the lecture series, to the University of Mary for their vigorous support of this important initiative, and to the Diocese of Bismarck and the St. Alexius PrimeCare Health System for their sponsorship. To see a copy of brochure, which gives a brief overview of the lecture topics given in Bismarck this year, click here. If you are interested in scheduling a lecture or series of lectures in your own community, please click here.
 On January 16th, Father Tad returned to the Diocese of Fall River to address the diocesan priests on a range of bioethical concerns, principally with ethical dilemmas at the beginning and end of life.
January 17th, Father Tad arrived in Boston to teach. The National Catholic Bioethics Center is once again providing a course in bioethics to the seminarians at Saint John's Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston. The course will run for the entire Spring Term. While Father Tad will be the principal instructor, other ethicists from The NCBC will provide presentations on various topics throughout the term.

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