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Update–Fall 2022

An update on various academic pursuits…

Hello, friends! Here are some of my recent research and writing efforts:

Data Ethics in Catholic Health Systems

I had the honor and pleasure of contributing to this article in the NCBQ. This was my first experience of a group writing project. The best part was the hand-full of zoom calls with this crew. The conversations provided an opportunity to connect with Catholic Health Care Ethics leaders, enjoy stimulating dialogue, and greatly helped to shape my thinking in this space.

Barina, Rachelle, Becket Gremmels, Michael Miller, Nicholas Kockler, Mark Repenshek, Christopher Ostertag, and Kirsten Dempsey. “Data Ethics in Catholic Health Systems.” The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 22, no. 2 (2022): 289–317.

CHA Health Calls Podcast

It was great fun to participate in this podcast recording with Brian Reardon & Kathy Curran of the Catholic Health Association. I was able to share some of the ideas found in my recent article, Catholic Health Care and AI Ethics: Algorithms for Human Flourising. In addition to offering a few ideas about why we should celebrate the possibility of AI in health care while remaining cautious about ethical concerns, I confess my incompetence with basic arithmetic.

Life, Solidarity, Fraternity: The Consistent Ethic in Light of Fratelli Tutti

In mid-September, I had the fortune to participate in a symposium at The Bernardin Center of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL. The event began with a presentation from Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J., the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on the consistent ethic of life in light of Fratelli tutti.

The next day was spent in dialogue with a number of theologian scholars across the continent. We presented papers exploring Bernardin’s consistent ethic in light of Pope Francis’ social ethic. I shared a draft of a paper I’m calling “Connectivity Is Not Enough: Toward a Consistent Ethic of Digital Life.” As was my first experience of presenting a paper at an academic conference, I found it to be both affirming and challenging. I walked away with some new ideas and connections to bring to my draft. I also left with a sense of humble gratitude to encounter these scholars and their ideas. It was a gift.

For fun, I’ll include the abstract of my draft manuscript. Reach out if you’d like to discuss it with me!

Digital technologies are an indispensable part of life. They are so seamlessly integrated into our economy, environment, and relationships that they often remain unnoticed. Yet the significant economic and life-giving potential of this digital life must be understood with respect to its exploitative impact on both creation and humanity. From mining earthen elements with which digital hardware is built to data colonialism, the advent of the digital life brings the burden of new life questions along with its benefits.

Cardinal Bernardin articulated the consistent ethic amid a “new moment,” filled with both potential and danger, calling for the church to develop and promote consistent social policies. Today, we find ourselves in another new moment that calls the church to a new kind of consistency; both IRL (in real life) and in the digital life. Motivated by Bernardin’s consistent ethic and inspired by Marshall McLuhan’s prophetic vision of an electronic world, this paper will explore how the church can navigate digital life issues by employing Pope Francis’ social ethic and promoting a “culture of encounter.” Readers will be empowered to see, judge, and act in a way that fosters respect for human dignity both online and IRL.

CHIEF–Catholic Healthcare Innovation in Ethics Forum

The Fourth ‘CHIEF’ event was held in September and I presented a lightening talk titled: “Health Care Ethics Consultants and Community Health Needs Assessments A Collaboration in Service of Our Marginalized and Vulnerable Neighbors.” Here’s my abstract:

Through an analysis of ASBH’s core competencies for health care ethics consultation and best practices in Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs), this presentation will argue that trained, competent ethics consultants can add value to CHNAs conducted within Catholic Health Care Organizations (and beyond). These core competencies can support not only the assessment process within the community, but the organizational response to the CHNA as well. The collaboration on both external and internal elements of the CHNA process positions the ethics consultant to assist the Catholic health ministry in achieving missional integrity; that is: to understand, assess, and respond to the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable neighbors it is called to serve.

It’s likely that part of this mini-research project will show up in my major fall research on CHNAs and Catholic Identity. Also, should I have the opportunity to revise this, I will certainly shorten the title. 😃