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Our Speaker's Bureau

One-day Workshop:
Understanding, Communicating and Implementing The Ethical and Religious Directives For Catholic Health Care Services

The overarching goal of the Workshop will be discussion of the most effective ways of imparting and implementing Jesus' Gospel message of caring and curing in the setting of Catholic health care facilities. A key pedagogical aim will be to show that Gospel values are at work in the language of the Directives. While the role of educating in the contents of the Directives is important, to be sure, so too will be a focus on the most effective ways of communicating the elements of faith and reason which undergird them.
This one-day workshop seeks to provide Catholic health care professionals with an understanding of and an appreciation for the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services [ERDs], approved in June 2001 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. The design of the workshop is both didactic and participative and will enable participants to:

1. Become familiar with the actual text of the Directives;
2. Understand the evolution and the structure of the ERDs;
3. Apply the values and principles of the ERDs to contemporary ethical challenges; and
4. Consider possible methods of facilitating education in the Directives among the staff and personnel who work at Catholic health facilities.

Sponsors, CEOs, Medical Directors, VPs for Nursing, Directors of Social Work, Mission Directors, and Directors of Pastoral Care, as well as physicians and nurses and those who serve on a facility's ethics committee.
There will be five presentations with time set aside for participation and discussion. A variety of teaching aids will be used. Participants will be provided with the complete text of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

  • History and Structure of ERD's: The first presentation is an overview to touch upon the history, the evolution, and the structure of the ERDs. Here the goal is to present crisply and concisely the Preamble, the General Introduction and the first two parts of the Directives: "The Social Responsibility of Catholic Health Care Services," and "The Pastoral and Spiritual Responsibility of Catholic Health Care," with the aim of helping health care professionals understand how the ERDs are to be seen as an integral part of the teaching mission of the Church. Indeed, the Church as Teacher will be a leitmotif running all through the workshop and presented in some detail in this opening section.
  • The Professional-Patient Relationship and Issues in Care for the Beginning of Life: The second presentation examines Parts Three and Four of the Directives, "The Professional-Patient Relationship" and "Issues in Care for the Beginning of Life."
  • Issues in Care for the Dying: The third presentation deals with Part Five of the ERDs, "Issues in Care for the Dying".
  • Forming New Partnerships with Health Care Organizations and Providers: The fourth presentation is an investigation of Part Six of the ERDs, "Forming New Partnerships with Health Care Organizations and Providers." Issues of material cooperation and duress as they relate to recent developments in health care will be examined.
  • Discussion: The fifth and final presentation will consist of a representative panel of local health care professionals who will:
    • Discuss the challenges of educating those who work in Catholic facilities in the spirit and the contents of the Ethical and Religious Directives, and make some recommendations as to how this might best be accomplished.