.- Franciscan University's Institute of Bioethics is hosting a conference in March for health professionals and will address the topic of âEthical Issues on Suffering and Death.â
âDeath and suffering are the two topics that most often confront health care professionals and ethics committees in hospitals,â explained Dr. Patrick Lee, director of the Institute. âWhen do we withdraw life-sustaining treatment? Why does our society view suffering as the problem to be treated, rather than the mere symptom of a deeper problem?â
The upcoming conference has a particular relevance given the current health care reform effort and comes at a time when right to life issues are at the forefront of legislative debate.
âWhat's at stake in the current cultural debates about abortion and euthanasia,â Dr. Lee continued, âis whether we as as society are going to recognize the equal and inherent dignity of all human beings or not.â
Several prominent healthcare professionals and speakers will attend the March 26-28 conference and six medical experts will address a wide range of ethical issues faced by healthcare workers today.
Dr. Germain Grisez, professor emeritus of philosophy and moral theology at Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, will give a lecture on the topic, âWhat Suffering Is and Why God Allows Evil.â
Dr. Theresa Collett, professor of law at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, will discuss âThe Value of Life and State Actionâ and Dr. John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, will speak on âDifficulties in End-of-Life Care Decisions.â
Brother Daniel Sulmasy, OFM, MD, PhD, will lecture on âAppropriate Responses to Different Types of Suffering at the End of Life.â Sulmasy is a Franciscan friar, medical doctor, and noted bioethicist. Dr. Rita Marker, executive director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, will give an overview of âCurrent End-of-Life Ethical Issues and Dilemmasâ and Dr. Andrew Trewâs talk on âSuffering, Death, and the Doctor-Patient Relationshipâ draws from his work as a member of the Internal Review Board at the Cleveland Clinic.
âEthical Issues on Suffering and Deathâ is the fifth conference to be sponsored by the Institute of Bioethics since its founding in 2007. The stated mission of the Institute is âto engage the modern culture and present the truth of the human person, following the call of Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae for universities to provide the research, discussion, and articulation of arguments that stand up for and spread the culture of life.â