Inaugural Saint Catherine of Siena Chair in Health Care Ethics Lecture
|Speaker:||Bro. Ignatius Perkins, O.P.|
Professional literature in health care ethics today frequently reports discussions on the multiple variables that threaten the human dignity and vulnerability of the sick person. Unfortunately, little attention is given to understanding how human dignity of the clinician is threatened and violated in the current health care environment. Today’s technologically and economically-driven health care environment is influenced by moral relativism, reductionism, and a clinical focus on specialization, technology and disease rather than on the human person who is sick and in need of healing. The influence of these principles has led to the systemic violation of the dignity of the clinician (and ultimately that of persons who are sick), created moral distress among clinicians, and the collapse of the healing relationship. Guided by the Church’s teaching these violations can be addressed and corrected by applying the Church’s moral tradition in health care, by re-affirming the principle of human dignity as the moral center of the healing relationship between clinician and patients. This presentation will propose three strategies directed toward reclaiming the dignity of the human person and the re-humanization of the clinician, namely, formation of the clinician, creation of moral communities for clinicians, and implementation of the Pellegrino healing relationship model in clinical practice.