Teaching OB/GYN residents bioethics within a Catholic healthcare context.


Residents entering training in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) often have misconceptions as to what medical interventions Roman Catholic healthcare institutions prohibit, and why certain restrictions are placed on the provision of reproductive health options that are otherwise legally available to women. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services, produced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops seeks to provide a stable framework upon which reproductive health decisions can be based. However, Catholic healthcare ethics may conflict with secular bioethical assertions that place a premium on autonomous patient choice. Residents training in part or whole at a Catholic institution may feel frustration at what they perceive to be a conflict with current secular ethics paradigms-such as access to abortion, contraception, sterilization, and assisted reproductive technologies. The recent adoption of Clinical Competencies by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), directs that residents shall be trained to function within the framework of their larger healthcare system ("Systems-based Practice"). This article will first, clarify areas of conflict and convergence between Catholic and secular reproductive ethics, which are unique to OB/GYN training. Next, using the ACGME's new Clinical Competency in Systems-Based practice as a model, a rationale for incorporating Catholic Healthcare ethics into an ethics curriculum for OB/GYN residents will be discussed. Finally, guidelines for faculty tackling the problem of how to teach Catholic Healthcare ethics will be described. Incorporating the rich tradition of Catholic healthcare ethics into the educational curriculum of OB/GYN residency fulfills training requirements while exposing young physicians to a rational decision-making framework in bioethics.

Abstract Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29108141

Teaching OB/GYN residents bioethics within a Catholic healthcare context.
Steele A.
Issues Law Med. 2017 Fall;32(2):173-182.
PMID: 29108141