Schedule

2019 Theology and Ethics Colloquium, "The Body as Revelatory"

March 13-15, 2019
Chase Park Plaza Hotel
St. Louis

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Wednesday, March 13
Noon Registration Opens
1:00 p.m. Welcome and Opening Prayer
Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP, S.T.D.
Senior Director, Theology and Sponsorship
Catholic Health Association
St. Louis
1:15 p.m. Ethical Issues in Emerging Genetic Technologies
Paul Scherz, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics
School of Theology & Religious
Studies
The Catholic University of America
Washington, D.C.

Respondent:
Brian Kim, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis
  SESSION DESCRIPTION

Many commentators have noted the disappointing failure of investments in genetics before and during the Human Genome Project to dramatically impact patient health. However, two new developments seek to change this situation by putting genetic knowledge to work, leading to both therapeutic promise as well as ethical concerns. CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology can directly alter the DNA sequence in human cells, potentially allowing for gene therapy in either the adult patient or embryos. In contrast, Precision medicine's goals are more indirect but broader – to change the entire health-delivery system into one that predicts a patient's risks of disease from their genome, allowing for personalized modes of health management. While both developments hold promise, this talk will explore their risks. Risks include dangers from unintended effects, increased costs, intensified power relations over nascent human life, and shifts in the understanding of the meaning of health itself.
   
2:30 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Striving for Excellence in Ethics
Becket J. Gremmels, Ph.D.
System Director of Ethics
CHRISTUS Health
Irving, Texas
  SESSION DESCRIPTION

CHA's current resource, Striving for Excellence in Ethics, was originally produced in 2011 as a joint project of CHA and Ascension Health. Since then, new issues have appeared, competencies for ethicists have been reviewed, and new perspectives – such as population health and genomics – have taken on increased importance.

This session will feature a panel and table discussions designed to identify the most important needs in ethics today and make recommendations to CHA about ways to meet those needs.

The session will start with four brief "lightning talks" from member ethicists, followed by response from the panel members and audience. We will then proceed to table discussions and conclude with recommendations to the CHA staff.
   
4:30 p.m. Break
5:30 p.m. Reception
Please enjoy dinner on your own
 
Thursday, March 14
7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:45 a.m. The Revelatory Body: Finding God in Human Experience
Luke Timothy Johnson, M.Div., Ph.D.
Robert Woodruff Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins
Candler School of Theology
Emory University
Atlanta
  SESSION DESCRIPTION

We often think of Revelation only with a capital "R" – meaning the Scriptures and a body of doctrine. Using research for his book, The Revelatory Body, Dr. Johnson will help us explore how the body itself is revelatory. This will be an especially pertinent session for health care ethicists, whose work frequently focuses on the body and its ethical meaning.
   
10:15 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Ethical Issues in the Undocumented Population: Long-Term Care, Stewardship, and Justice
Melissa Gaule
Director of Ethics and Care Management
Coastal Care Partners
Savannah, Ga.
  SESSION DESCRIPTION

Issues in undocumented care are more apparent than in past years because undocumented persons are increasing, aging and growing chronically ill. Thus, what is our ethical and moral obligation to their long-term care needs, and what social determinants must be addressed for their long-term care to be successful? The end-stage renal population and others have brought forth questions left unanswered nationally, and only addressed by few states. We will examine how different states have addressed this topic and walk through multiple case studies to raise all questions for awareness, discussion and continued critical thinking.
   
Noon Lunch
1:30 p.m. The Customer Revolution in Health Care:
Delivering Kinder, Smarter, Affordable Care for All

David W. Johnson, MA
CEO/Founder
4sight Health
Chicago

Respondent:
Mark Repenshek, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Ethics and Mission
Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), Eastern and Western Wisconsin Division
Green Bay, Wis.
  SESSION DESCRIPTION

Healthcare accounts for one-fifth of the U.S. economy. Everyone agrees that our current system is broken and needs repair. It must cost less, tackle chronic disease, and shift resources away from acute and specialty treatments into care management, behavioral health, and health promotion. The issue isn't what to do. It's how to do it. The answers lie in customer-driven reform, enlightened governmental regulation, and full-risk payment models that reward quality outcomes, service excellence, and efficient operations.

Customers are demanding more value. In response, enlightened health companies are reconfiguring business models to deliver appropriate, accessible, holistic, reliable, and affordable care. According to this new model, caregivers inform and engage patients; payers reward health companies that deliver great outcomes and great service at competitive prices; health plans strive to keep their members as healthy as possible; investors fund innovative companies whose products and services delight customers; health companies employ technologies that liberate data, enhance system-wide access, fairness, safety, compassion, and affordability.

National consultant and author Dave Johnson will describe the shape of this revolution and its implications for Catholic health care. Ethicist Mark Repenshek will draw out ethical aspects of this revolution and offer a focused response on issues relating to the acquisition and use of data.
   
3:00 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. Clinical Considerations in the Care of Transgender Patients
Diana Currie, MD, FACOG
Family Medicine Residency Program
University of Washington WWAMI Network
Olympia, Wash.

Sharon Dunski Vermont, M.D.
Mercy Hospital, St. Louis and
Washington University Transgender Center, St. Louis Children's Hospital
St. Louis
  SESSION DESCRIPTION

The increasing recognition of the transgender population and its unique health care needs within mainstream medicine have created new challenges. The basic understanding of what it means to be transgender and having empathy and clinical acumen for our transgender patients, can create a bewildering array of questions and worries for many of us. In this talk, we will address the main clinical concerns of the transition process as well as socioeconomic factors and family impact for both minors and adults.
 
5:00 p.m. Vespers
Ann Garrido, D.Min., Presider and Preacher
Adjunct Professor of Homiletics
Aquinas Institute of Theology
St. Louis

Evening on Your Own
 
Friday, March 15
7:30 a.m. Full Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:15 a.m. The Inner Life of Ethicists: The Importance of Cultivating an Interior Life
Paul Wadell, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology and Religious Studies
St. Norbert College
De Pere, Wis.
  SESSION DESCRIPTION

Thinking about the essential qualities of health care ethicists, emphasis is typically placed on solid academic training, the ability to identify and apply appropriate principles, a capacity for prudential judgments, and personal integrity. But little attention is given to spiritual formation and cultivating an interior life. That is unfortunate because without a healthy spiritual life it is hard to persevere—much less to flourish—in our professional callings. This presentation will explore why spiritual formation is an essential element for anyone in health care ethics, how a spiritual or interior life could be developed, and what practices might be most important for one's spiritual growth. When attention is given to the spiritual life, not only can one be an excellent health care ethicist, but he or she can also be an excellent person living a truly good and healthy life.
   
9:45 a.m. Break
10:00 a.m. Ethics and Advocacy
Lisa Smith, MPA
Vice President, Advocacy and Public Policy
Catholic Health Association
Washington, D.C.
  SESSION DESCRIPTION

This session will feature a discussion about the ethical dimensions of public policy issues. The speaker will present examples of current policy issues and invite a panel of ethicists to reflect on their moral implications, especially the relationship between morality and public policy.
   
11:00 a.m. Conclusion and Adjourn