Special Projects

The Anscombe Bioethics Centre urgently needs your help.

Every week during the pandemic we have received calls from healthcare professionals, concerned relatives, and priests – those on the front line – asking for our advice on ethical issues.

There is no other Centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland that provides our level of expertise in Catholic bioethics.

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Advance Decisions Project

Is it ever ethical to plan one’s end-of-life decisions in advance? In what circumstances can we make legally-binding advance refusals of treatment? When we ourselves or our loved ones face such decisions, we can often feel vulnerable and sensitive. It can be hard to imagine ourselves and our medical condition at a future time, and to make treatment decisions accordingly. At the same time, making advance decisions may bring much peace and reassurance.

Catholics, and those with similar concerns, need the reassurance that it is possible to make ethical end-of-life decisions. More concretely, they need the means and support to make those decisions. Research, resources, and training are currently lacking for patients, their families, and the healthcare professionals that care for them.

If this crucial project receives sufficient funding, it will address this complex issue through research, offering training to healthcare professionals, and resources for patients and their families who wish to plan for the last stages of life – whenever that comes.

The project would offer essential outputs, including:

  • Patient-friendly guidance on advance decisions for individuals and families, including a pro forma.
  • A guidance document aimed at healthcare professionals covering ethical and legal aspects of advance decisions.
  • Dedicated website resources, including videos, to facilitate a wide dissemination of the ethical considerations.
  • In-person and online training for a variety of healthcare professionals and students of the healthcare professions.

Project lead: Michael Wee, Associate Research Fellow at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre.

If you would like to support this important project specifically, please contact Gwen McCourt at admin@bioethics.org.uk

Medical Virtue: A Catholic Bioethics Course for Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals face ethical dilemmas every day. When decisions are made or advice is given, these professionals need more than just their medical or care training to know how to respond.

The Anscombe Bioethics Centre wants to offer a course in Catholic bioethics specifically for healthcare professionals, which teaches the application of virtue to medical and care practice, and the principles by which simple and complex ethical situations can be navigated, consistent with the teachings of the Church.

With funding, this project will enable busy healthcare professionals develop their knowledge and practice in a way which will improve the care they are able to offer their patients, and increase confidence in making decisions in tough situations, safe in the knowledge that they are informed by the Church’s teaching.

Offering a combination of resources, available at the student’s convenience, and online tutoring, this hybrid programme will allow medics and carers to increase their knowledge of bioethics and develop their professional practice.

If this project is funded, the Centre can offer a world-leading course to healthcare professionals that is affordable, and which will help countless patients and families ensure they are treated with the dignity proper to the human person in healthcare settings.

Project lead: Dr Chris Wojtulewicz, Education and Research Officer at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre.

If you would like to support this important project specifically, please contact Gwen McCourt at admin@bioethics.org.uk.

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