Bioethics and Human Dignity

I last taught for Homeschool Connections in 2016. While I had always worked a few shifts a month, and eventually once every week, 2016 was the year I sent my youngest to school and began rebuilding my clinical career.

Soon after, I began a program I had long wanted to take. The National Catholic Bioethics Center offers a certificate in health care ethics program that runs twice a year. It is an outstanding program for anyone involved in clinical medicine. The challenges to authentic Catholic clinical practice, especially when one is not a doctor, are significant and growing. The program and resources from the NCBC are invaluable.

Always in the back of my mind I kept the idea of teaching for Homeschool Connections again. As soon as this or that happened, I would be able to do it. The biggest deterrent has been school. Even now, I am in the third of four semesters of a doctor of science program. I chose the educational leadership track so I was becoming more eager than ever to teach again. The 2021-2022 school year was my goal.

God had a different timeline in mind. Once the COVID pandemic hit, I found myself out of not just one but two jobs! Who would have ever imagined so many healthcare workers furloughed. The physician assistant profession was hit especially hard. I am extremely grateful to Maureen and Walter for letting me jump back in long after the deadline .

I have several courses in mind that I wanted to create, but this one especially. As I explained in the story I told for the recent online Catholic homeschool conference, a priest’s flippant remark about doctors being the ones that should stop the legalization of assisted suicide was the seed. I look around and I see a rare few Catholic health care professionals. We need to inspire and teach a new generation that can change the culture. Our Catholic educational institutions are not doing it. And so it rests upon homeschoolers.

So I set about developing Bioethics and Human Dignity. The foundational course is eight weeks. Part science, part history, part theology, and a good bit philosophy, students will understand what has happened, where we are now, and the fundamental principles on which Catholics base our bioethics reasoning, starting with the dignity of human life.

The foundations course is immediately followed by a bioethics seminar on Natural Law. The format switches so that students can take all that language and logic learned in the foundation course and put it to rhetorical work. Class meetings are longer to foster discussion, an essential skill in bioethics. Natural Law is a philosophical approach with which people of faith engage a diverse culture. I plan to develop subsequent bioethics seminars focusing on different areas of concern such as the beginning of life, the end of life, and biotechnology.

Bioethics and Human Dignity begins Thursday, September 10th and meets every Thursday, 2:30-3:20 pm until October 29th. Early registration price is $137, which goes up to $157 after July 15th. Bioethics Seminar–Natural Law begins the following Thursday, November 5th and also meets 11/12, 11/19, and 12/3 from 2:30-3:45 pm. Early registration is $87, then $107 after July 15th.

The course is not in the catalog because I developed it after the catalog was put together. You can find it by going to the website, clicking on the “Register for live courses button”, scrolling down and entering “bioethics” in the search box. Or you can go directly to my instructor page by clicking here (scroll down to the bottom.)

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