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The Institute of Catholic Bioethics at Saint Joseph’s University was founded on August 28, 2006 with the mission to develop and promote interdisciplinary research projects, educational programs, academic courses, clinical consultation and policy development services in the field of bioethics to meet the needs of three constituencies: the Saint Joseph’s University academic community, the medical establishment of the Philadelphia area and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The primary constituency of The Bioethics Institute is the Saint Joseph’s University academic community and the lay public that is invited to and attends events sponsored by Saint Joseph’s University. In this capacity, the Institute will utilize different venues in order to inform students, faculty, staff, administration and the lay public of the developments within the expanding field of bioethics through regularly-scheduled public lectures, classes, symposia and other events. In addition, there will be an on-going interdisciplinary research component to the Institute. Qualified and interested faculty from the Saint Joseph’s University community and other professionals, external to Saint Joseph’s University, will be invited to participate in research projects related to the field of bioethics.
The second constituency is the Medical, Nursing & Administrative Staff at Affiliated Health Care Institutions. In addition to the research and educational programs that have been created at Saint Joseph’s University by the Bioethics Institute, there will be an outreach to the affiliated institutions. The audience will be the medical and nursing staffs and the administration of those institutions affiliated with Saint Joseph’s University in the financial support of the Institute. Since some of these institutions are part of a larger healthcare system (Catholic Health East), it is possible that educational programs could be extended to benefit this larger system as well. In some instances, the subject matter of the research carried on at Saint Joseph’s University (e.g., in the Fellows’ Research Program) could be focused on the needs of the affiliated institutions (e.g., to write a specific policy for the medical hospital staff). Such an outreach program to the affiliated institutions is consistent with the general mission of Saint Joseph’s University in its attempt to enhance the educational opportunities of professional groups.
The third constituency is the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. From the research and educational programs that have been created at Saint Joseph’s University by the Bioethics Institute and at the invitation of the Cardinal of Philadelphia, there is a pastoral outreach to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Such an outreach program is truly consistent with the mission of Saint Joseph’s University.