17:12 PM

UST Co-Sponsors Conference on Health Professions and Medical Ethics

As modern biology continues to make new and exciting discoveries, the moral conundrums surrounding these discoveries become increasingly complex. It is, therefore, more important than ever for individuals in the Catholic faith to understand, challenge and lead the conversations regarding health and medical ethics.

The University of St. Thomas is answering that call, co-sponsoring the Converging Roads: The Heart of Health Care conference along with the St. John Paul II Foundation and the Catholic Healthcare Professionals of Houston Sat., April 17, 2021 in  an in-person, and online format. 

The conference is open to health and medical professionals, clergy and religious and students, and offers continuing medical education and continuing nursing education credits. Students attending online via GoToWebinar can register at no cost. 

The Heart of Health Care

“A unique responsibility belongs to health care personnel,” St. John Paul II said. “Their profession calls for them to be guardians and servants of human life. Its deepest inspiration and strongest support lie in the intrinsic and undeniable ethical dimension of the healthcare profession which requires every doctor to commit himself to absolute respect for human life and its sacredness.”

Converging Roads is a regional conference series offering continuing education for health care professionals, equipping them to practice the highest ethical and medical standards of their profession.

The theme, The Heart of Health Care, will be explored through presentations from leaders in their fields on topics including the Hippocratic oath, public health and moral decision making.

The presentations include:

The Hippocratic Oath: Countering a Secularist Bioethics
Ashley K. Fernandes, M.D., Ph.D

This presentation will offer an overview of the Hippocratic Oath and its implications for medical care provided to patients. It will discuss the history of the Hippocratic Oath and its practical implications for medicine that are dignified, compassionate, and loving.

End of Life Decision Making and Palliative Care
Sarah E. Hetue Hill, Ph.D

This presentation will provide healthcare professionals and patients with an understanding of the role of palliative care, especially towards the end of life. It will identify key ethical principles that guide decision making when patients are no longer aggressively pursuing curative measures.

Accompanying Patients in the Midst of Suffering
Fr. Philip G. Bochanski

This presentation will provide information about the importance of spiritual and pastoral care at the end of a person's life — assisting the individual and family to move with peace, comfort and love into the final stage of life here on earth. It will share examples of struggle and success in accompanying patients and being a compassionate presence in the midst of suffering.

Is There Such a Thing As “ Catholic Medicine?"
Kathryn A. Karges, M.D. and Theodore J. Trumble, II, M.D., CMD

This presentation will consider whether there is anything distinctive about the practice of medicine animated by Catholic ethical and spiritual convictions. It will explore whether patient outcomes are impacted by robust spiritual and ethical convictions as well as identify model doctors and nurses who exemplify a strong commitment to the whole patient.

The Physiological Impact of Contraceptives
Michael S. Parker, M.D.

This presentation will explore the current medical data concerning the physiological impact of contraceptives. It will survey literature concerning the role of venous thromboembolism, stroke, and contraceptives as well as discuss the role of contraceptives on heart health for women of child-bearing age.

Public Health and Pandemics: Economics, Access to Care, and Health Care Disparities
Dominique J. Monlezun, M.D., Ph.D, Ph.D, MPH

This presentation will consider the role of social determinants of health in provision of medical care in times of crisis. It will identify how economic factors impact medical care and play a role in decision making at all levels.

Moral Decision Making in Difficult Situations
Sarah E. Hetue Hill, Ph.D and Dominique J Monlezun, M.D., Ph.D, Ph.D, MPH

This presentation will consider practical application of ethical principles in a clinical setting in light of different cases. It will propose courses of treatment options to secure desired patient outcomes and share best ethical medical practice for treating patients.

Click here to learn more or register for the Converging Roads Conference.


The St. John Paul II Foundation is a national Catholic apostolate, proclaiming the Good News about life and family through education and formation.