Ethics of End-of-Life Care

Contributions from the
Arts and Humanities

Sun. Feb 11 – Sat. Feb 17, 2024 / Rome, Italy
(or shortened version: Feb 14-17, 2024)

An intensive ethics seminar
organized in cooperation with the
Pontifical Academy for Life, Vatican City

Summary outline

Care for the dying and their loved ones is a most rewarding but also challenging endeavor. Such care can evoke complex moral questions that often defy standard methods of ethical analysis. In this seminar, we enter into dialogue with the arts and humanities to gain new insights about the human condition, find meaning in the final phase of life, and achieve a truly dignified death.

Approach

Whereas internationally renowned experts will introduce the themes, the core of this seminar will be a sustained discussion among all participants.  Conversations will extend from the classroom to the cultural excursions in the city of Rome and many shared meals. Participants are encouraged to prepare a short presentation to stimulate still more dialogue. Registration is limited to 20 persons.

Integration with the 2024 Conference of the Pontifical Academy for Life

During the second and third day of the seminar, participants will attend the annual conference of the Pontifical Academy for Life on “Human Meanings and Challenges”.  There will also be an opportunity to join in the Academy’s private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Detailed information about the speakers and presentations at this conference can be found here.

Participants can also elect to only attend the second half of the seminar, which starts after the conference of the Pontifical Academy on Wednesday afternoon Feb 14.

Submissions by participants

Each participant is invited and indeed encouraged to prepare a short presentation, to be given during the seminar. While this presentation may cover a completed ethics project, the primary purpose of these breakout sessions is to present a “work-in-progress” or even a project in the earliest planning phase. Graduate students whose master or doctoral thesis will include a normative component are especially encouraged to enroll.

Educational team

  • Jos V.M. Welie, MA, MMedS, JD, PhD (Seminar Director). Founding President of the St. André International Center for Ethics and Integrity (France); Professor Emeritus of Medical Humanities at Creighton University (Omaha, USA)
  • Carlos Centeno, MD, PhD, University of Navarra (Spain)
  • Nunziata Comoretto, MD, PhD, LRS, Scientific Sention, Pontifical Academy for Life (Vatican City)
  • Don Andrea Ciucci, Pontifical Academy for Life (Vatican City)
  • Andrea De Santis, PhD, Professor of Philosophy and Dean, School of Philosophy, Ateneo Sant’Anselmo (Rome, Italy)
  • William Sullivan, MD, PhD, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. Chair in Bioethics, Georgetown University (Washington, DC, USA)
  • Bernadette Tobin, PhD, Director of the Plunkett Centre for Ethics (Sydney, Australia).


Program

SUNDAY FEBR. 11: START OF SEMINAR   

14:30-15:00

Arrival & Coffee at:

Domus Romana Vaticanae
Via della Traspontina, 18

15:00 – 15:30

Welcome and introductions

15:30 – 17:00

Bernadette Tobin (The Plunkett Centre, Australia) : The art of dying – philosophical reflections

17:00 – 17:30

Coffee Break

17:30 – 19:00

William Sullivan (Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, USA):
The art of dying – lessons to be learned from people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

19:30 – 21:30

Opening Dinner

Ristorante Venerina

Via Borgo Pio, 38 – 00193 Rome

MONDAY FEBR. 12: PAV CONFERENCE

10:00 – 11:15

Registration for the 2024 Conference of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Augustinianum Congress Center (Via Paolo VI, 25)

11:15 – 11:45

Opening of the 2024 Conference of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Mgr V. Paglia, Vatican City)

11:45 – 12:15

Anthropologies to the test of contemporaneity
(W. Desmond, Belgium)

13:00 – 15:00

Lunch (on your own)

15:00 – 15:20

Does science need to redefine the nature of humanity with the coming of AI? (J. Al-Khalili, UK)

15:20 – 15:40

Art as a pedagogical method to understand human. A personal experience (F. Chomali, Chile)

15:40 – 16:30

Discussion

16:30 – 17:00

Coffee break

17:00 – 17:20

Governing the economy for the Common Good. (M. Mazzuto, UK)

17:20 – 17:40

Modernity as a systematic “factory” of unworthy situations (C. Fleury, France)

17:40 – 18:30

Discussion

Dinner on your own

TUESDAY FEBR. 13, 2024: PAV CONFERENCE (CONTINUED)

9:00 – 10:30

Panel discussion on brain implants (Neuroengineer Olaf Blanke, Switzerland; philosopher Carter Snead, USA; and theologian Sigrid Müller, Austria)

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 13:00

Panel discussion: From domination to responsibility (J. Simpore, Burkina Faso; C. Lafontaine, Canada; T. Pievani, Italy; H. J. Schellnhuber, Germany)

13:00 – 15:00

Lunch (on your own)

15:00 – 15:30

Created Isch Ischá: a theopoetics of the human body M.C. Lucchetti Bingemer (Brazil)

15:30 – 16:00

On Being Human: Developmentally-Nurturant Relationships in Dynamic Systems (R. Lerner, USA)

16:00 – 16:30

The Spirituality of ‘Being Human’: Towards a Cosmotheandric Vision (A. Devasia, India)

16:30 – 17:00

Coffee break

17:00 – 17:45

Discussion

17:45 – 18:15

A biblical diagnosis (A.M. Pelletier, France)

18:15 – 18:30

Concluding remarks (V. Paglia, Vatican City)

“Guardian of Life” Award

18:30 – 21:00

Dinner (on your own)

21:00 – 22:30

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992): “What is Mankind?” (Ps 8)

Introduction and commentary: Pierangelo Sequeri

Piano: Emanuela Piemonti

Cello: Francesco Maria Parazzoli

Violin: Maria Dal Don

Clarinet: Marco Giani

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci
Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci, 30 — 00165 Roma

WEDNESDAY FEBR. 14: SEMINAR (CONTINUED)

8:15 – 9:15

Optional Catholic mass, celebrated as part of the PAV conference. Church of S. Spirito in Sassia (detail: This church is part of one of the oldest hospital complexes in Rome, though no longer in use as such)

Morning

No academic program.

9:30-13:30 Optional visit of Roman antiquities: Forum, Colosseum and nearby sites (guided by T.Welie)

15:00 – 15:30

Coffee at the

Domus Romana Vaticanae
Via della Traspontina, 18

15:30 – 17:00

Welcome back / Reflections on the PAV conference / Experiences with dying and death among all present

17:00 – 17:30

Coffee break

17:30 – 19:30

Carlos Centeno Cortés (Professor of Palliative Care & Director ATLANTES project; University of Navarra, Spain): The Art of Compassion: Nurturing Empathy and Reflection in Serious Illness and End-of-Life Care Among Medical Students at the University of Navarra

Nunziata Comoretto (Pontifical Academy for Life, Rome): The Pallife project: Advancing palliative care throughout the world

19:30 – 21:30

Dinner at Taverna Giulia

Vicolo dell’Oro, 23 — 00186 Roma

THURSDAY FEBR. 15 : SEMINAR (CONTINUED)

8:30 – 9:30

Coffee at the

Domus Romana Vaticanae
Via della Traspontina, 18

9:00 – 10:30

Alex Schadenberg: The reality of Canada’s euthanasia program
Yuriko Ryan: Narrative-based bioethics education on euthanasia for mental illness.

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30

Nicole Shirilla: Michelangelo and a Blinding Darkness: Reflections on Finitude and Transcendence in a Vocation of End of Life Care

Jos Welie & Tristan Welie: Preparatory comments on the cultural visits

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch

14:00 – 17:00

Excursion into Rome: Funeral culture in ancient Rome: Hadrian’s Mausoleum and the Altemps Museum

17:00 – 17:30

Coffee break at the

Pontifical Academy for Life

Via della Conciliazione 1

Tel: +39 06 69895200

17:30 – 19:30

Plenary session at the Pontifical Academy for Life

Welcome: Mgr Renzo Pegoraro, MD, PhD

Don Andrea Ciucci (Pontifical Academy for Life) : The art of food versus artificial nutrition

Jos Welie (St André International Center for Ethics and Integrity): The “good” in eu-thanasia – an esthetic rather than ethical concept ?

Evening

Dinner on your own

FRIDAY FEBR. 16 : SEMINAR (CONTINUED)

8:30 – 9:00

Coffee at the

Domus Romana Vaticanae
Via della Traspontina, 18

9:00 – 10:30

Reflections on and discussion of insights gained during the visit in Rome on Thursday

Thomas Sitte: Ongoing case report: The impact of a living will on care planning involving long-term homebased ventilation

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30

Joshua Schulz: A Proposal for Navigating Moonshot Ethics
Regina Okhuysen-Cawley: Spiritual Support of Dying Children and their Family Members

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch

14:00 – 19:30

Excursion into Rome: Christian funerary art and practices (incl. Catacombs of the Capuchins, Santa Maria del Via, San Ignazio, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, and Museum of the Souls of Purgatory — hitting the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona along the way)

Evening

Dinner on your own

SATURDAY FEBR. 17: SEMINAR (CONTINUED)

9:00 – 10:30

Excursion into Rome: Places of care for the dying (incl. Tiber island and Ospedale Santa Francesca Romana)

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30

Excursion into Rome: Places of care for the dying (continued) (incl. Santa Cecilia, San Francesco a Ripa, and the ex-voto wall at 143 Viale di Trastevere)

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch

Antico Forno al Testaccio

Via Amerigo Vespucci, 28 — 00153 Roma

14:00 – 15:00

Excursion into Rome: Places of care for the dying (continued) (cemetery acattolica)

15:00 – 19:00

Coffee Break

at the San Anselmo University

Piazza Cavalieri di Malta, 5

Final Academic Session

Chair: Paulina Taboada, MD, PhD (Associate Professor and Researcher, Universidad San Sebastián, Chile)  

Andrea de Santis, PhD (Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, San Anselmo U, Rome): Fixating the fleeting. How image and death are intertwined
Dexter E. Callender, Jr, PhD (Associate Professor, University of Miami, USA & American University of Rome, Italy): Myths about death and dying as a source of ethical reflection
Jos Welie , MMedS, JD, PhD (St André International Center for Ethics and Integrity, France): The (extra)ordinary distinction at the end-of-life: Insights from music
Discussion

19:30 – 21:30

Closing dinner

Taverna Cestia

Viale della Piramide Cestia, 67 — 00153 Roma


Language

The seminar is held in English. There will not be simultaneous language in other languages (except during the conference of the Pontifical Academy for Life). However, non-native speakers should not hesitate to enroll, as long as they have solid conversational competency in English. The members of the instructional team are either non-native speakers themselves, or have extensive experience working in other countries and conversing across language barriers. What matters is a willingness to engage in the discussions and not be worried about linguistic imperfections.

Certificate

Each educational program of the St André International Center for Ethics and Integrity is assessed by its Curriculum Committee, consisting of highly experienced educators and researchers from various of universities around the world. Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion, detailing the course description, contact hours completed, learning objectives, instructional modalities and other pertinent information.

Registration, fees and optional excursions

Attendance is limited to 20 participants. Registration for the seminar can be done via the online registration form. We will let you know within 72 hours if there still is availability.

The seminar fee schedule is as follows:

Full week (including PAV conference*) $ 1060 / € 970
Reduced student fee $ 950 / € 870
Second half of the week only (Wed-Sat) $ 950 / € 870
Reduced student fee $ 870 / € 800

* If you elect to attend the full week program, you do NOT need to register separately at the website of the Pontifical Academy for the Mon-Tue conference. Your registration info will be shared with the PAV.

The registration fee includes:

  • Attendance of all academic sessions
  • 3 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Coffee/refreshment breaks during all seminar days
  • 3 half days of excursions to various cultural sites in Rome.

The fee for accompanying persons is US$340 / €310 and includes all scheduled dinners, lunches and excursions.

Participants and accompanying persons can also sign-up for a guided exploration of the most famous Roman antiquities (Colosseum, Forum Romanum, Capitoline hill) on Wednesday mid-day. For accompanying persons two additional guided excursions will be available on Monday afternoon (Exploration on foot of the heart of Rome, including Piazza Navona and the Trevi fountain) and Tuesday afternoon (Christian Rome, including the San Clemente, Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Suzanna).

Venue

Please note that the venue for the different program components will change frequently. The conference of the Pontifical Academy for Life will be at the Augustinianum Congress Center (Via Paolo VI, 25), immediately south of the Vatican square. The audience with Pope Francis will take place in the Vatican itself. The morning sessions of the seminar on Thursday through Saturday will most likely take place at a meeting center near the Cipro metro stop. But the late afternoon sessions may each take place at a different academic site in Rome (scheduling is still taking place). And of course we will be exploring parts of the city of Rome on various days.

We therefore recommend to look for lodging not too far from the entrance to the Vatican Museum (see the orange oval on map below), which tends to be a rather affordable area in Rome and you will be:

  1. at walking distance from the site of the Pontifical Academy Conference;
  2. at walking distance to a metro stop
  3. at walking distance to the Piazza Risorgimento (where many bus lines stop)
  4. and near the Domus Romana Vaticanae Sacerdotalis (Via della Traspontina, 18) where we will have several classroom sessions.

For more suggestions about lodging and travel more generally, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Additional information

For all questions about this seminar, please use the contact button below.