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Online Learning

Course Number:  STP 640
Course Title: Medical Ethics
Term: Fall 2014


Fr. Luis Luna m.s.a.

Office: (860) 632-3061



This course begins with the background out of which the Catholic Medical Ethics grew, and then explores 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.


  • We will present and explain the Catholic doctrine in bioethics issues.
  • The basic terminology and contain will introduce the students to understand the complex and sensitive issues in our current society.
  • Everyone can be ready to answer or explain this topic to the people where we live and experience our Christian life.
  • And finally that lay person that works in the field of the medicine and with persons experiencing difficulty in their health or challenges in their lives can find a balanced help.
  • This course it is only introductory to the bioethics world, and sure will be studied in this dimension.


All the Lectures are in the Text Book “Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life” by William E. May.

Week 1: History of the Medical Ethics

Lectures: Will be posted.

Readings: Oath of Hippocrates; The Prayer of Maimonides; The Nuremberg Code; Declaration of Helsinki.

Assignments: Post in Populi: Compare the readings proposed and the actual practice in the medicine. It is the healing and wellbeing the ill person the last end in the medicine, the physicians are aware of their duties, what difficulties find in the medical system?

Week 2: Church Teaching and Major Issues in Bioethics

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 19-45

Readings: Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 90, Art.4; I-II, Q. 91, Art. 1

Assignments: To post in Populi: What is the divine law? Why we must obey the God’s command? Which conflicts sometimes exist between moral law and civil law?

Week 3: Making True Moral Judgments and good moral choices

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 47-63

Readings: Catechism Catholic Church 1749-1761; 1776-11802.

Veritatis Splendor # 51-53-

Assignments: To post in Populi: In a moral choices what elements we must have present? They need to be good all for to be a good moral act? Why can exist conflict between freedom and moral choices?

Week 4: Generating Human Life

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 65-79

Readings: Humanae Vitae # 2-6

Assignments: To post in Populi: What problems found this Encyclic and what answers gave?

Week 5: Generating Human Life

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 87-107.

Readings: Humanae Viate # 9-12

Assignments: To post in Populi: In what is marital love? What is the meaning of responsible parenthood?

Week 6: Contraception and Respect for Human Life

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 119-132

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church 1700-1715; Humanae Viate # 13-16

Assignments: To post in Populi: Explain the view of the Church about the anticonceptives. What we understand for the recourse to the period infertile?

Week 7: Contraception and Respect for Human Life

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 134-140

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church 2258; Humanae Vitae # 17-31

Assignments: To post in Populi: Why it is responsibility of all the Church, as Body of Christ, in front of the sacredness of life?

Week 8: Abortion and Human Life

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 151-170

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church 2270-2275; EV (Evangelium Vitae) # 1-4

Assignments: To post in Populi: Explain what means the life begins at the conception.

Week 9: Abortion and Human Life

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 170-186

Readings: EV # 13-17

Assignments: To post in Populi:  Explain the difference between abortion as removal vs. abortion as “killing”.

Week 10: Experimentation in Human Subjects

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 199-215

Readings: The Charter for Health Care Workers (1994); Donum Vitae # 2-4

Assignments: To post in Populi: “Human procreation requires on the part of the spouses responsible collaboration with the fruitful love of God”: explain.

Week 11: Experimentation in Human Subjects

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 215-228

Readings:  Catechism of Catholic Church 2292-2295. Donum Vitae: 1. Respect for the Human Embryos. 4. How is one to evaluate morally research and experimentation on human embryos and fetuses?

Assignments: To post in Populi: What is your point of view about the frozen embryos? What recommendation the Church can give?

Week 12: Euthanasia, assisted suicide, and care for dying

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 235-262

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church 2276-2279; EV # 15.

Assignments: To post in Populi: Make a commentary in the teaching of the catechism about euthanasia.

Week 13: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and Care for Dying

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 263-273

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church 2280-2283; Vatican Declaration: on Euthanasia, the meaning of suffering.

Assignments: To post in Populi: It is possible to associate the suffering with the passion of Christ? For us Christians the suffering has a meaning?

Week 14: Defining Death and Organ Transplantation

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 283-293

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church 2299-2301

Assignments: To post in Populi: what is the meaning of death in the teaching of St. John Paul ii? What is the clinical definition od death?

Week 15: Defining Death and Organ Transplantation

Lectures: Catholic Bioethics pages 294-306

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church 2296-2298

Assignments: To post in Populi: Can you explain, in your words, when the brain is death?


  • Discussion Postings – 25%
  • Midterm Exam – 25% October 10, 2014
  • Final Exam – 50% December 4, 2014



Rev. MSGR. Vincent M. Walsh, Pope John Paul II: The Theology of Body, a Simplified version, Key of David Publications, http:/ ISBN: 0-943374-86-3.

Mgr. Paul J. GLENN, A Tour of the Summa, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois, 1978. (=ST) $ 14.97

A.FLANNERY, Vatican Council II, Vol 1, The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, New Revised Edition, Costello Publishing Company, Northport, New York, Dominican Publications, Dublin, Ireland, 1996. (=Vat. II) or any other publication.


Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at

GRADING SCALE: A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below.


Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Style sheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.


Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

The students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.


Name: Rev. Father Luis Antonio Luna Barrera M.S.A. professed member of his community in 1985 and Ordained Priest, January 18th, 1987.

Education: 1979-1981 Philosophy at Faculty of Theology Pontifical and Civil of Lima-Peru. 1983-1984. Testimony of Study  Pontificium Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, Rome, Italy. 1982-1985 Baccalaureate in Sacra Theology at Pontifical University Gregorian, Rome, Italy. 1990-1992 Baccalaureate, License and Master in Canon Law, and from 1996-1999 Doctorate in Philosophy Ius Canonicum, University of Ottawa/Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada.

Work experience: He worked in different field of education and priestly formation in several countries: Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Italy, Canada, and recently in United States of America. At Holy Apostles College and Seminary teaches Canon Law and specially helping in the formation of future priest and laity for the Church. Belongs to the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles, where Fr. Luna had many responsibilities: in formation, parish administration, high school rector, as member of the general council for two periods and actually is the canonical advisor of his Society.

(860) 632-3010