Human Dignity and the Future of Health Care: Every Person Endowed with Dignity; Every Person Worthy of Care

2010 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
Thursday, October 28-Saturday, October 30, 2010
Baylor University, Waco, Texas


Call for Papers

In the practice of health care a complicated array of issues converges: public policy and economic considerations impinge on a myriad of social and moral demands related to medical research and the distribution and delivery of medical care. As the recent debate concerning health care reform in the United States illustrates, not only have these issues largely been argued about in isolation from one another, they too often have been removed from an account of what it means to be human (a person endowed with dignity and therefore deserving of care) and the role of doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners in offering that care.

Inspired by the conviction that a Christian understanding of the dignity of the human person should inform these fundamental questions, the 2010 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture seeks to explore the future of health care, not only in the United States but around the world. In an often compartmentalized debate, how might an acknowledgment of human dignity shape our understanding of the moral, political, and economic dimensions of one of the most pressing concerns of our time?

Confirmed speakers include (click here for more details):

Elias Bongmba, Rice University
Harry and Hazel Chavanne Chair in Christian theology

Toyin Falola, University of Texas
Distinguished Teaching Professor and fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria

Paul Griffiths, Duke Divinity School
Distinguished professor of Catholic theology

Jeff Levin, Baylor University
Pioneering biomedical scientist and religious scholar

Gilbert Meilaender, Valparaiso University
Theologian and member of the President's Council on Bioethics (2002-09)

Stephen Post, Stony Brook University
Bioethicist and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics

Margaret Somerville, McGill University
Legal scholar, ethicist, and founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law

Daniel Sulmasy, University of Chicago
Franciscan friar, physician, and ethicist

John Swinton, University of Aberdeen
Founding director of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability

S. Kay Toombs, Baylor University
Medical ethicist and associate professor emeritus of philosophy

We invite participants from a broad range of fields (health care professionals, theologians, philosophers, social workers, economists, aid workers, public policy specialists, and others) to contribute to an intellectually rich and faith-informed discussion about the future of health care.

Possible topics include:

  • Human dignity and human rights
  • The Church's role in health care
  • Models of Christian response
  • Economic models for health care reform
  • Theological accounts of the human person
  • Health care in the developing world
  • Medical care as a vocation
  • Public health programs
  • Educating doctors and medical students
  • Care of the unborn, barely born, disabled, and elderly
  • Ethics and medical research

We are no longer accepting proposals for this conference.

Click here to download and share a PDF of the call for papers.