Health care ethics: Catholic perspectives

Wed. July 19 – Thu. 27, 2023 / Rochefort-du-Gard, France

Seminar Objectives

Within Christianity, care of the sick and dying has always been a core ministry.  Indeed, for much of the past two millennia, the local hospice or clinic run by Catholic sisters was the only health care facility in town. Today, a large number of health care facilities, ambulance services, rehabilitation clinics, and nursing homes are still affiliated with the Catholic church. In this seminar we will explore the values, tenets and principles that shape 21st century Catholic health care. 

Methods of Instruction

Whereas internationally renowned experts in bioethics will introduce various themes, the core of this seminar will be a sustained conversation and critical debate among all participants, with ample time for personal reflection, spiritual enrichment and liturgical celebrations.

Educational Team

  • Jos V.M. Welie, MA, MMedS, JD, PhD (Course Director). Founding President of the St. André International Center for Ethics and Integrity (France); Professor of Interdisciplinary Normative Science at Maastricht University (Netherlands); member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Vatican)
  • Mgr. Nicolas Brouwet, bishop of Nîmes, theologian, and member of the Committee on Bioethics of the French Conference of Catholic bishops.
  • Thierry Lavabre-Bertrand, MD, PhD. Medical historian and Professor of histology, embryology and cytogenetics at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montpellier-Nîmes (France)
  • Fabien Revol, MS, PhD. Jean Bastaire Chair in Ethics and Ecology, Catholic University of Lyon
  • Linda Scheirton, RDH, MA, PhD. Professor emerita of health care ethics at Creighton University (Omaha, USA)
  • William Sullivan, MD, PhD, PhD. Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. Chair in Bioethics at Georgetown University (USA) and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Vatican)
  • Bart Beckers, MA, MD, SJ (seminar chaplain). Member of the Antwerp Jesuit community (Belgium) and formation director of Ignatian schools in The Netherlands and Flanders


The seminar will start on Wednesday July 19 at 15:30. It will end on Thursday July 28 at 15:30. A detailed program will become available soon. Topics covered will include:

    • Health care as a mission of the Catholic church throughout the ages / Catholic health care institutions today / The perspective of a practicing physician / Catholic health care ethics in the 21st century / Spirituality and health care / The concept of health in the Catholic tradition / Catholic principles of health care ethics /
    • Being human – being embodied – being a person / Mental health care / procreation and reproductive technologies / Euthanasia and PAS / End-of-life care
    • The common good in health care / The preferential option for the poor / Vulnerability – of those we serve but also of those serving / Public health ethics / Negotiating business demands and Catholic values
    • Integral ecology / stewardship of creation / one health and the environment / the technological paradigm in health care / transhumanism

The approximate schedule for the seminar is as follows:

18Early arrivalEarly arrival
19Arrival15:30 Welcome / MassPlenary / Museum
20Plenary/DiscussionGuest speakerCultural presentation
24Plenary/DiscussionStudent presentationsCultural presentation
25Plenary/DiscussionStudent presentationsFree
26Plenary/DiscussionGuest speaker/breakoutsDocumentary
27Guest Speaker15:30 Wrap-upExtra night
28Delayed departure


The seminar is held in English. There will not be simultaneous language in other languages. 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.


Each educational program of the St André International Center for Ethics and Integrity is assessed by its Curriculum Committee, consisting of highly experienced educators 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 & Fee

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:

Regular (applicable as long as spots remain): US$ 1685 (or Euro 1575)

— Early payment in full (i.e., before June 20): US$ 1585 (or Euro 1480)

(Graduate) student (upon proof of student status): US$ 1095 (or Euro 1025)

— Early student payment in full (i.e., before June 20: US$ 995 (or Euro 930)

This fee includes:

  • Attendance of all educational sessions
  • All course materials
  • 8 days of residence in a single room (with private bathroom)*
  • All breakfasts and coffee breaks, as well as most lunches and dinners
  • 2 programmed excursions
  • Pick-up (at arrival) and drop-off (at departure) at the Avignon-TGV train station
  • Transportation to a choice of regional sites on the day-off (middle of seminar)

* If rooms are available, an extra night can be booked at a charge of Euro 35/night (incl. breakfast), before the start of the seminar (night from July 18 to 19), and likewise an extra night at the end of the seminar (night from July 27 to 28).
The conference center also has double rooms. Please contact the conference organization if you wish to share a bedroom with another course participant, or if you wish to bring a partner who will not attend the seminar. A limited social program for non-participants will be available at an extra fee.

Additional information

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