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Holy Spirit College

Catholic Bioethics (THEO 675) - Online



Mondays, August 31 – December 14
9:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. via Zoom

In contemporary society, Catholic moral teachings pertaining to health care ethics (bioethics) are frequently misunderstood or misrepresented. This course provides an in-depth exploration of Catholic teachings concerning the ethics of medical care, including the ethics of reproductive health care (sterilization, contraception, abortion, artificial procreation) and the ethics of end of life health care (palliative care, assisted suicide and euthanasia, artificial nutrition and hydration). Fundamental principles will be considered such as double effect, moral cooperation, the distinction between therapeutic and non-therapeutic care, the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary care, and burden/benefit analysis in relation to extraordinary care. This is a companion course of THEO 560– Theological Anthropology and THEO 650 – Moral Theology. (1.5 credit hours)

This course considers the origin of the universe as revealed and as understood existentially in religious philosophy, as well as the origin and destiny of humanity. The course examines the development of Christian thought on these topics, giving emphasis to biblical texts. In relation to creation, the course will investigate interpretations of the Hexaemeron, the relationship of the doctrine of creation to ontology, the distinction of primary/supernatural causation and secondary/natural causation, and contemporary issues and challenges for belief in a Creator. In relation to eschatology, the course will treat such topics as heaven, purgatory, and hell, prayer for deceased human persons, gradations of beatitude, all in light of Patristic authors, Aquinas’s Summa theologiae, and contemporary writings in Roman Catholic sacred theology.

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