Why do people attend conferences?
For many people, it’s work related. They attend to improve their skills, to expand their knowledge base, or to network with other people in their field. Some professionals, such as doctors, nurses and lawyers, have to keep up with continuing education requirements. Others may be presenting their research in a paper or a poster.
But why go if it’s not work related? Christians can have a deeper purpose. As Proverbs 18:15 reminds us, “an intelligent heart acquires knowledge” (ESV). We may attend faith-based conferences to learn more about having the mind of Christ. We also enjoy the fellowship with friends and spiritual encouragement.
So, what does this have to do with bioethics? you may ask.
There is a bioethics conference that combines the best of both professional and faith-related purposes. On July 18-20, 2013, in Deerfield IL, you can attend a conference that deals with issues that affect all of us, addressed from Christian perspectives. You can learn, network, and be refreshed. Our conference theme is “health and human flourishing.”
Let me explain.
Think about the last time you were at the doctor. What was it like? Did you watch the doctor’s back as he asked questions and scrolled through computer screens? Think about how much technology has entered the exam room.
So what? Why does this matter?
It matters because it symbolizes a shift in our understanding of health and healthcare. It’s a shift from expecting the therapeutic touch of a nurse, and the skill of a wise doctor, to a diagnosis determined by a computer’s impersonal analysis of data.
A few weeks ago, you heard me talk about the changing definition of “health” and how so much of our life has been medicalized. A medicalized culture treats minds and bodies as problems in need of a medical or technological solution.
This shift in medicine and our view of health matters because it affects all of us, patients and physicians alike. It pressures us to view our bodies in material terms, as machines that can be repaired and upgraded. That leaves little room for seeing the patient as a person. Instead of focusing on health and well-being, all the attention is on healthcare, its delivery, how it is paid for, and whether a particular diagnosis will be reimbursed.
At The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity’s 20th Anniversary conference, you will get practical help in thinking about questions such as whether to have prenatal testing, the problems with RU-486—the “abortion pill”, disability and suffering, embryo adoption, and your moral development as a nurse or physician. You will also hear from Christians who have thought carefully about what it means to flourish as a human being made in God’s image, and what is genuine “health.”
The conference is for everyone who desires an “intelligent heart,” not just doctors. The speakers are diverse: pastors, nurse educators, Christian ethicists, scientists, and, yes, even physicians. This is your chance to acquire knowledge in a friendly setting.
For more info, visit www.cbhd.org.
So, come, nurture your “intelligent heart” and find knowledge, wisdom, encouragement, and fellowship.