Advanced European Bioethics Course: Suffering Death and Palliative Care

Categories: Education.

New developments in health care strengthen the promise of a better life for everyone. This process also influences the way societies deal with the end of life and with questions regarding the meaning of suffering and death.

International debates often centre around the question whether medically hastening death is a proper means to preserve human dignity and
quality of life. The other side of this issue is palliative care, defined by the WHO as the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. The suggestion that adequate palliative care helps prevent the cry for euthanasia and assisted dying, needs careful investigation.

Questions raised by these developments require thorough conceptual interpretation as well as ethical reflection. Objective of this course is to educate the participants on two main aspects: ethical questions of palliative care and medically assisted death, and philosophical, theological and medical reflections on the concepts of death and suffering. Attitudes towards death and dying, and the ethical aspects of continuing or foregoing medical treatment, and of medically assisted death receive considerable attention in this course. In addition, the dimensions of spirituality, rituals and intercultural diversity are covered.

The course consists of a series of lectures, discussions, parallel sessions and audiovisual materials centred around a variety of topics:

autonomy and dependence; palliative sedation and euthanasia; spirituality and palliative care; quality of life and a good death; scientific research in palliative care; moral deliberation.

The parallel sessions are devoted to in-depth small group discussions and moral deliberation on different real life cases and particular, contemporary issues in the area of end-of-life decisions. Each group will consist of ten to fifteen participants, led by a faculty member.

The course management strives for a diverse group of participants, with a large diversity in professional and cultural background.

This diversity among both faculty and participants stimulates fruitful exchange of ideas and enhances understanding of others’ professional and cultural perspectives on suffering, death and palliative care. The course language is English.

Find more information about the course HERE.

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