Windows on Theology Course Addresses End of Life Care with Compassion and Love

In June 2016,” medically assisted” death (i.e., euthanasia and assisted suicide) became legal in Canada. For many Catholics involved in health care, this has raised issues around cooperation and conscientious objection. Patients and their families, meanwhile, struggle with end-of-life decisions regarding withholding and withdrawing treatment and the use of pain relief at the end of life. Issues like these are at the heart of Dr. Bridget Campion’s course, “Ethical Issues in End-of-Life Care”, currently being offered as part of the Regis College Continuing Education program, Windows on Theology.

How we care for persons who are dying says a great deal about who we are as a society and as a faith community. Pope Francis is urging us to build not only a culture of life but a culture of care. What does this mean for the most vulnerable among us: persons with dementia living in long-term care institutions; children in palliative care; homeless persons with terminal illnesses?

In her course, Dr. Campion uses case studies and directed discussion to help participants work through these challenging issues and become familiar with and apply relevant Catholic Church teaching. Her goal is to show how this teaching is a gift not only to Catholics but also to the larger world when it comes to compassionate care for our dying sisters and brothers.

Bridget Campion is a moral theologian and bioethicist and is not only an instructor here at Regis but is also a graduate of the College. Her areas of expertise and interest include: social justice and health care; the care of marginalized patient populations; and the place of love in moral theology. Dr. Campion’s course on end-of-life care is part of the Windows on Theology series, a continuing education program that is an integral component of Regis College’s commitment to community education and outreach.  For more information on the Windows on Theology series, visit the Regis College website at www.regiscollege.ca

Two recommended publications on this subject are: The Declaration on Euthanasia  (1980) by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Evangelium Vitae: The Gospel of Life (1995) by Pope John Paul II.  Both are available on the Vatican website, www.vatican.va

Bridget Campion - Regis College

Bridget Campion

Adjunct Professor

Room 202; ext. 264

b.campion@utoronto.ca