Inaugural Lecture of the Saint Catherine of Siena Chair in Catholic Health Care Ethics
January 15, 2013
The Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York will host Brother Ignatius Perkins, O.P., Ph.D., R.N., for the inaugural lecture of the Saint Catherine of Siena Chair in Catholic Health Care Ethics on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. The event is open to the public and will be held at the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena, 411 E 68th Street, New York, New York. The Lecture, entitled The Dehumanization of the Clinician and the Demise of the Healing Relationship will highlight the prevailing discussion in health care ethics surrounding the many variables that threaten the human dignity and vulnerability of the sick person, and the need to emphasize the variables that threaten the human dignity of the clinician. Today’s technologically and economically-driven health care environment is influenced by moral relativism, reductionism, and a clinical focus on specialization, technology, and disease rather than on the human person who is sick and in need of healing. The influence of these principles has led to the systemic violation of the dignity of the clinician (and ultimately that of persons who are sick), created moral distress among clinicians, and fostered the collapse of the healing relationship. Guided by the Church’s teaching, these violations can be addressed and corrected by applying the Church’s moral tradition in health care, by re-affirming the principle of human dignity as the moral center of the healing relationship between clinician and patients. This presentation will propose three strategies directed toward reclaiming the dignity of the human person and the re-humanization of the clinician, namely, formation of the clinician, creation of moral communities for clinicians, and implementation of the healing-relationship model for clinical practice developed by Dr. Edmund D. Pelligrino. Brother Ignatius currently serves as Professor of Nursing and Dean of the School of Nursing at Aquinas College, an educational apostolate of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. He also holds the St. Catherine of Siena Chair in Catholic Health Care Ethics at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC and at the Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York. With more than forty years in nursing education he is well published and is known especially for his passion for helping clinicians and vulnerable members of society – especially the poor, the homeless, and the elderly – and in promoting and protecting the dignity of every person – each a masterpiece of God’s creative act. He holds Fellowships in the American Academy of Nursing, the Academy of Nursing Education, the New York Academy of Medicine and the Royal Society of Medicine.