This course treats questions concerning illness, medical treatments, and death within the ambit of the anthropological foundations developed in Biology, Medicine, and the Contours of Human Life. Study of the virtue of prudence aids in developing an adequate method for ethical discernment. Issues such as stem cell research and artificial reproductive technologies are considered in light of magisterial teaching and current theological and philosophical reflection. End-of-life issues are also treated, including questions concerning life support and its withdrawal, the use of ordinary/proportionate and extraordinary/disproportionate means, and criteria for determining death—including the neurological standard, commonly referred to as “brain death.”
Life, Death, and the Human Person
Thomas V. Berg and Edward J. Furton, Human Embryo Adoption: Biotechnology, Marriage, and the Right to Life.
Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon’s Note on an Imperfect Science.
Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.
Josef Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues.
Assistant Professor of Bioethics
Dr. Rice received her doctorate in theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute with a dissertation on contemporary Catholic thought concerning biotechnology and the beginning of life. Her research concerns the history and philosophy of biology, the character of biological knowing, and the cultural and anthropological significance of biotechnologies.Learn More