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Bioethics Course Descriptions

Course are offered either on-campus only or online only

Bioethics Course Descriptions

Holy Apostles College and Seminary also offers the following courses in Bioethics. Some courses are offered on-campus only and some are on-line only.

STM 608 – Philosophy of Life and Death (on-campus)

This course investigates the paradoxical relationship that exists between life and death, including the partial experiences of death such as difficulty, disease, and disability, and examines how, on the one hand, death can strengthen life and, on the other hand, how an excessive concern for isolating life from death leads away from life. Discussion will focus on how this insight has application to sex, drugs, guilt, marriage, abortion, reproductive technology, euthanasia, and morality in general. Also examined will be how stress, anxiety, and fear of death can hinder one’s personal development. The reality of death itself and the issue of life after death will be explored.

STM626 – Sexual Ethics (online)

This course is an introduction to Catholic sexual ethics using the work of John Paul II. The students will examine the significant philosophical thought of Karol Wojtyla on this topic in his book, Love and Responsibility. At the same time, they will examine his mature theological thought, as pope, concerning the theology of the body, as found in his general Wednesday audiences. The professor will provide a summary of several major papal documents (e.g., Arcanum, Casti Connubii) to set his work in context. The goals of this course are to communicate the principles of Catholic sexual ethics, and for students to articulate and apply those principles to several sexual topics and to a magisterial document.

STM 635 – Reproductive Technologies (on-campus)

This course shows how various new reproductive technologies such as IVF, embryo freezing, artificial insemination, extra-corporeal gestation, cloning and so on, tear at the personal and moral meaning of motherhood and fatherhood, and contribute to the weakening of the family unit. Part of the class includes a discussion of the Christian meaning of parenthood and the family. The course runs for four weeks only.

STM 639 – Bioethics and the Law (on-campus)

This course gives a survey of the legal aspects of bioethics. Questions such as inheritance laws and surrogate parenting, the “living will,” frozen embryos, etc., are treated from a legal perspective.

STM640 – Medical Ethics (online)

The starting point will be the background out of which the Catholic Medical Ethics grew. Once the background of the tradition, which originated in the ancient world, is in place, the modern situation and its failure will be described and the contemporaneous need for the religious traditions to exercise their appropriate influence will be affirmed.

STM 642 – Theology and Natural Science (on-campus)

This course offers a study of the relationship of theology to the natural sciences and the practical relationship of spirituality and medicine. An examination of the current literature will be made.

STM 660-D Guiding Principles of Catholic Medical Ethics (online)

Students will explore the extraordinary challenges, both medical and moral, currently facing health care in the United States. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, will be used to help acquire an overview of critical topics in Catholic medical ethics. In these revised Directives, the bishops reaffirm the Church's commitment to health care ministry and to the ethical standards of behavior that flow from the Church's teaching about the dignity of the human person. The clear formulations of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Serviceswill serve as a reference point for the content covered in subsequent courses. This course is for dual enrollment students only.

STM662-D Catholic Bioethics and the Dignity of the Human Person (online)

Students will examine key areas of modern bioethics, and be able to articulate the major ethical concerns raised by these issues. Topic areas include assisted reproductive technologies, abortion, contraception, informed consent, euthanasia and assisted suicide, organ transplantation, and ectopic pregnancies. Students will examine areas where ethical ambiguity may still exist from the vantage point of Catholic teaching, like Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer, and be able to articulate a reasoned position and coherent approach to dealing with such questions in the practical sphere. This course is for dual enrollment students only.

STM665-D Case Studies and Applied Topics (online)

Students will examine a number of bioethical topics and critically analyze case studies from a Roman Catholic perspective. Subject areas include research ethics, ethics committee process topics, beginning and end-of-life ethical issues, selected clinical issues, and institutional issues. The course will emphasize the application of ethical reasoning and connections with Church teaching. This course is comprised of 2 additional curricular components - the first of which is two conferences (a Fall 2-day seminar which meets at various locations and a Spring 1-day seminar which meets in Philadelphia), and the second of which is a final paper due in July. This course is for dual enrollment students only.

STM670-A Directed Studies in Catholic Bioethics (online/on-campus)

Specialized studies in Catholic bioethics directed to the individualized needs of the student. A paper is required. This course may be repeated by students pursuing the Master Degree in Theology with a Concentration in Bioethics for a total of six (6) graduate credits.

STM 807 – Contemporary Moral Problems (on-campus)

The course researches and evaluates significant moral questions confronting the Church and the world today. Included will be the study of such issues as abortion and euthanasia in their contemporary aspects, pressing issues such in social justice, issues in business, environment, and media ethics, and critical issues in sexual ethics. The study of special questions (such as capital punishment; homosexuality; drugs and addiction; ecological concerns; and war, terrorism, and torture) will provide occasion for understanding and evaluating contemporary moral methodologies.

STM 810 – Bioethics (on-campus)

This interdisciplinary course prepares students for pastoral practice involving medical-moral questions ranging from conception to death. Issues considered include: in vitro fertilization, genetic manipulation, the aggressiveness of medical treatment, allocation of scarce medical resources, medical experimentation, abortion, euthanasia, the use of fetal tissue for therapy or experimentation, sterilization, contraception, natural family planning, and population control. Moral principles developed will include stewardship, ordinary means, totality, double effect. Problems presented by the theories of situation ethics, Kant’s ethics, relativism, consequentialism and utility will also be considered.

(860) 632-3010