By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator

Providing quality and timely medical ethics formation for medical professions will be the focus of an upcoming conference sponsored by the Diocese of Baton Rouge, as well as Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.

The Converging Roads Medical Conference, with the theme “Catholic Social Doctrine Medicine” is scheduled Nov. 2 at the Catholic Life Center.

Danielle Van Haute, respect life coordinator for the diocese, said the ongoing message throughout the daylong conference will be “How do we live out our belief as Catholics in medicine and how do we approach the individual in front of us? We are looking at this through the lens of Catholic social doctrine and that opens up a lot of areas.”

The conference, which begins with Mass at 8 a.m. scheduled to be celebrated by Bishop Michael G. Duca, features a mix of local and national speakers. Some of the topics to be addressed include care for the sick and dying: rooted in Catholic social doctrine; dignity of the human person and human ecology; religious liberty, healthcare and human flourishing; women’s healthcare; a Catholic response to the opioid crisis; access to healthcare for the poor and undocumented; and human suffering and hastening death.

“All of this is rooted on the dignity of the human person,” Van Haute said. “Every person has that.”

Van Haute said the standards scheduled to be discussed and highlighted are not just Catholic-centric but are standards and ethics that all medical professionals should be striving to live up to in order to provide the best possible health care.

She said the conference is not only a source of information but also a source of encouragement and support for medical professionals who perhaps are practicing in a group  where a tension exists regarding how best to serve the dignity of the human person.

The event is the first of its kind in the diocese and came about because the Houston-based  Pope John Paul II Foundation, had received interest from Catholic medical professionals in Louisiana. For more information, email or call 832.779.1070.