Due to the COVID-19 the summer bioethics courses scheduled for July 2020 are suspended. They are postponed until July 2021.

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INTRODUCTORY COURSE: Current challenges in Bioethics

To propose a global vision of the chief bioethical themes, in light of the fundamental principles that guide practical choices.

How does one choose whether to begin a therapy that might have grave consequences? What can a couple do or not do to have a child? What is the destiny of frozen embryos? How should we educate youth to respect their bodies and not to play with their lives? how should we deal with same-sex tendencies? To what point can the rapid advances in the technology – cloning, neuroscience, nanotechnology enhance man?

Human action also entails ethical questions: we will seek the answer together, through the investigation of a science, as an ally of truth, in the service of life.

REFRESHER COURSE IN BIOETHICS: Bioethics and Consciousness: an interdisciplinary and interreligious reflection on an essential dimension of the human person

The course proposes an interdisciplinary and interreligious study of human consciousness with the aim of understanding the plurality of meanings corresponding to the multi-layered complexity of personal dimensions of which it is composed. The course will offer its participants the chance to acquire the knowledge regarding the following areas: the state of the art of the so-called “science of consciousness” ranging from neuroscience to artificial intelligence and including quantum physics; the medical-clinical and psychiatric-psychological context; the philosophy and anthropology of consciousness; the artistic-aesthetic and theological-spiritual dimension. In this final context, special emphasis will be given to interreligious dialogue.

The course will give its participants the competencies necessary to discern critically the varied contemporary contexts in which consciousness is invoked, in order to evaluate critically clinical protocols, proposed laws, sanitary applications, and the polical, economic and social implications of the theme.

The theme of consciousness is at the center of contemporary bioethics debates. At the beginning stages of human life, the absence of self-consciousness is invoked to justify depriving the human organism of the status of personhood. At the final stages of human life, it is argued that an apparently irreversible loss of the manifestations of human self-consciousness can justify the harvesting of organs as a “donation” from subjects in gravely compromised states of altered consciousness. Moreover, two tensions are widespread in neuroscientific, philosophical and social contexts. On the one hand, there are attempts at reductionism, whether in the merely neurobiological sense or in a functionalist sense. On the other hand, there have emerged many substitutionary approaches that seek to identify personal self-consciousness with mere digitizable information.


The summer courses are open to everyone. The introductory course in Bioethics is aimed at all those who intend to approach the world of bioethics, and do not yet know the history, principles, and principle models of the discipline; to all those who are looking for answers regarding questions concerning the meaning of human sexuality, huanity in an embryonic state, criteria and orientations in assisted reproduction, the history, current debate, and scientific data on the so-called gender theory, experimentation, informed consent, neurobioethics, human enhancement, euthanasia, and much more. The bioethics refresher course is of particular interest to social workers; doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists, administrator and managers; educators and professors; priests, religious, catechists and other pastoral agents; lawyers and jurists; politicians; journalists, communicators and sociologists, as well as those who are interested in the cultural and social dynamics of our globalized world and wish to have prudent, informed and critical criteria on global, bioethical and social issues relating to public health issues of international interest.


Both courses consist of lectures, question and answer sessions, seminars, forums, film discussions, and interactive group activities. The professors of the School of Bioethics and other experts will partecipate as speakers and moderators of group dynamics. at the end of each course the students will take an achievement test.

The courses will be given in the Italian and English languages at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum at via degli Aldobrandeschi 190, Roma, Aula Master, first floor.
Coordinator of the Introductory Course:
Prof. Joseph Tham L.C.
Coordinators of the Refresher Course: Prof. Alberto Carrara L.C. and Prof. Aberto García Gómez


The academic fee for attending a single course is 350 euros; for both courses 600 euros. There is the possibility of asking for scholarships. Price recuctions are available for groups.

To register: https:/www.upra.org/modulo-ammissione/
For further information visit the site: www.upra.org and click the section:

Offerta formativa – Bioetica – Corso estivo

For any questions, contact us at: info.bioetica@upra.org


Both summer courses are part of the courses that the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostulorum, as an accredited body, registers on the S.O.F.I.A. (Operating System for Training and Initiatives for Updating of Teachers) of MIUR (Ministry of Education, the University and Research). At the end of the course the student will be able to apply for the training certificate recognized by MIUR.

The summer course is one of the optional courses of the Licentiate in Bioethics and worth 3 ECTS.