In addition to tracking the progress of Hurricane Ike, I spent Friday and Saturday in Philadelphia attending a bioethics conference sponsored by the National Catholic Bioethics Center. It was a tremendously interesting series of lectures and I hope to offer some more specific thoughts about the conference in future posts, but I initially want to share a couple of general reflections.
First of all, the conference site was St. Charles of Borromeo Seminary. We celebrated Mass with the seminarians each morning. It was truly inspiring to be among these young men who have decided to give themselves totally to the service of Christ and His Church. I could feel the holiness and prayers that pervaded the environment. It was such a privilege to be at Mass with them. It made me think of this post. As a parent, it would be very comforting to know that my child is in a setting so infused with the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, while most of the attendants at the conference had health care backgrounds, I realized bioethics is not just for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pastoral caregivers, and hospital administrators. Experts in the field of bioethics are important. However, this is not a topic that should be limited to experts. The bioethics discussion is for each of us. I strongly recommend going to the NCBC web site and availing yourself of the many resources provided. In this political season, it will certainly help you sort fact from fiction as the various candidates make claims on bioethical issues. Yet, there are many more personal reasons to become better educated in bioethics. We are all getting older along with our parents, spouses, children, etc. There are many bioethical issues to face with the aging process. Understanding advance directives as well as the alternatives is important to each of us. Finding out what the Catholic Church really teaches as opposed to what the media says the Catholic Church teaches is also important as we evangelize.
Let me know if there are specific bioethical issues you would like to hear about and I will try to post on them.