Emerging Topics in Catholic Health Care Ethics

A new clinical ethics webinar series co-sponsored by the Catholic Health Association in cooperation with
Georgetown University
Loyola University Chicago
Saint Louis University


In our ongoing commitment to provide timely, relevant information about emerging issues for Catholic health care, the Catholic Health Association is offering a monthly series of webinars to address critical ethical issues in caring for patients and families in Catholic hospitals, long-term care facilities and medical centers nationwide.

The series will take place on the second Thursday of the month during July through December from 1-1:45 p.m. ET. The first sessions will take place July 8 and August 12. Additional sessions are planned for Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9.

All sessions are being offered as a complimentary service to ethicists, clinicians, residents, health executives, graduate students in moral theology and health care ethics and all persons who are interested in Catholic health care ethics.

Each 45-minute session will examine the implications of a specific critical issue in clinical and organizational ethics in the context of Catholic Social Teaching and the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). Moderators of the series are Brian M. Kane, Ph.D., CHA senior director, ethics; and Nathaniel Blanton Hibner, Ph.D., CHA director, ethics.

Participants will receive recordings of the programs for ongoing reference and education for ethics committees, medical professionals, health executives and graduate students.

Nov. 11, 2021

1-1:45 p.m. ET
When the Patient is Racist

Co-sponsored by the Catholic Health Association in cooperation with Loyola University Chicago

The "When the Patient is Racist" introduces four experiences of racism that can occur in the health care delivery setting based on a New York Times Blog Post by Pauline Chen. Through an interactive discussion and a small group exercise we will explore structural racism and the challenges and opportunities for improvement at the individual and organizational level.



Lena Hatchett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics
Director of Community and University Partnerships
Stritch School of Medicine
Loyola University Chicago
View bio

Previous Webinars in this series:

July 8, 2021
1-1:45 p.m. ET
Brain Death: Are Neurological Criteria Sufficient for Declaring Death?

Presented with the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center

Session Description: In recent years, some have questioned whether neurological criteria are dependable for ensuring that death has occurred. In this session, we will explore the criteria, their application, and their relation to Christian anthropology.


Fr M Sheehan

Rev. Myles Sheehan, SJ, MD
Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics
View Bio


G. Kevin Donovan, MD, MA
Faculty Member
Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics
Georgetown University Medical Center
View Bio

Aug. 12, 2021
1-1:45 p.m. ET
Potential Alternative Pathways in Caring for Unrepresented Patients Who Are
Unable to Speak for Themselves

Presented with the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Care Leadership, Loyola University Chicago

Session Description: How should we care for patients who have no legal health care proxy and have lost decisional capacity? Often, these unrepresented patients are subject to the assignment of a court-appointed guardian, who may not be the most ideal person to speak about an unfamiliar patient's best interests. Paul Hutchison, MD, MA, assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Loyola University Chicago Medical Center, will explore an alternative pathway and the ethical constraints of this approach.


EthicsWeb S2 - Aug 12 2021 - P Hutchison

Paul Hutchison, MD, MA
Associate Professor of Medicine and Bioethics
Medical Director of Clinical Ethics
Loyola University Medical Center
View bio

Sept. 9, 2021
1-1:45 p.m. ET
Conscience, Compromise, and Complicity

Co-sponsored by the Catholic Health Association in cooperation with Saint Louis University Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics

This session will provide an overview of the debate and delve into more detail concerning "complicity/cooperation" when it comes to various compromise policies, such as effective referrals to willing providers. Jason Eberl, Ph.D., professor of health care ethics and philosophy, and director of Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University, will lead the discussion.



Jason T. Eberl, Ph.D.
Professor of Health Care Ethics and Philosophy
Director, Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics
Saint Louis University
View bio

Oct. 14, 2021
1-1:45 p.m. ET
Medically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration

Co-sponsored by the Catholic Health Association in cooperation with Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics

This presentation will review ethical aspects from a Catholic perspective of medically assisted nutrition and hydration. The focus will be on clinical presentations, effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of MANH in various settings, a review of directive #58 from the Ethical and Religious Directives, and a discussion of areas of possible confusion.


Fr M Sheehan

Rev. Myles Sheehan, SJ, MD
Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics
View Bio

Future Sessions – Dec. 9
Please Note: Topics and speakers are being developed for future sessions.
Please check back as information is being updated regularly.

Who Should Attend

The complimentary webinar series is designed for …

  • Medical directors, CMOs, CNOs
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Residents, medical and nursing students
  • Ethicists
  • Mission leaders
  • Ethics committees
  • Pastoral care directors
  • Graduate students in moral theology or health care ethics
  • Persons interested in Catholic health care ethics

Can't Participate in the Live Event?

Don't worry if you cannot attend the live event. CHA will record the webinar and share the recording with all who are registered — so please register today for this webinar.


For more information, contact CHA Service Center or Brian M. Kane, Ph.D., CHA senior director, ethics.