Healing or Human Enhancement? The Future of Medicine

April 17, 2015

The Center for Cultural and Pastoral Research is pleased to announce a symposium on "Healing or Human Enhancement? The Future of Medicine" at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America on April 17-18, 2015.

Medicine, by almost all accounts, faces an uncertain future. There are the skyrocketing costs and the regulatory concerns that have plagued medicine for years. There are the many changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act. Yet more fundamentally, rapid technological and biomedical advances, though they hold out great diagnostic and therapeutic promise, have put the very nature and end of medicine in question. Is the goal of medicine the traditional end of human healing, or is it the new ‘posthuman’ goal of human enhancement? Is this distinction sustainable?

This symposium will discuss the profound questions surrounding the new possibilities not only for healing but also for so-called human "enhancement" by exploring the effect these have on our expectation of health and the practice of contemporary medicine.

Physicians attending the symposium may claim Continuing Medical Education credits.**


Please click here to pay by credit card, or print and complete the appropriate registration form below to pay by check or money order. If you have questions, please call 202-526-3799 for assistance, or email ccpr@johnpaulii.edu.


Clergy, Religious, and Students


Institute Students


Rooms are available at a discounted rate for conference participants at the following hotels: 

Courtyard Marriott  (Deadline for reservation: March 20th)

Silver Spring Hilton Doubletree (Deadline for reservation: March 27th)


Friday, April 17  
6:30 p.m. Registration Table Opens

The Übermensch Ambition: Treatment or Enhancement?

Speakers: Chris Hook, M.D.

                 John Lane, M.D.

Moderator: Michael Hanby, Ph.D.

Saturday, April 18  
8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast Available

Whom Do You Trust with Your Life? Suffering and Desperation Care

Speakers: Ruth Ashfield, R.G.N.

                 Elvira Parravicini, M.D.

Moderator: Allen Aksamit, M.D.

10:30 Break

The ART of Reproduction: Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Embryology

Speakers: John Bruchalski, M.D.

                 Maureen Condic, Ph.D.     

Moderator: Timothy Aksamit, M.D.

12:30 p.m. Lunch

Genetic Therapies: Cure for Genetic Disorders or Eugenics?

Speakers: Dirk Lanzerath, Ph.D.

                 Alberto Costa, M.D.

Moderator: David Crawford, S.T.D.

3:30 Break

Medicine as a Vocation, Medicine as a Career, Medicine as a Business: What Causes Professional Burnout?

Speakers: Sara Deola, M.D.

                 Dennis Manning, M.D.

Moderator: Andrew Majka, M.D.

**This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of Providence Hospital and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute. Providence Hospital is accredited through MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Providence Hospital designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. The following committe members, planners, and staff have indicated that they have no relevant financial relationship to disclose: Dr. P. Evans, MD, Dr. J. Meyer, and Sam Ninan. The speakers do not have relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. Speakers do not have financial interest in the past 12 months. Speakers will not discuss unlabeled/unapproved or investigational use of any product during the presentation.

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