The Good Samaritan & Health Care Justice

Modern healthcare systems are meant to serve the sick and the wounded. How can Catholic teachings influence the ethical side of healthcare?

The parable of the Good Samaritan has long been a model for Christians seeking to care for the sick and heal the wounded. So moving is the story of the Samaritan coming to the aid of an injured victim along the road that many hospitals, clinics, health networks, and retreat centres around the world have taken on the Samaritan as their defining symbol. But of course, the parable of the Good Samaritan is not specifically about responding to the wounded, the diseased, or the sick. It is, rather, part of an answer Jesus gives to a legal scholar who is asking about much broader concerns, namely, the integral connection between pursuing eternal life and caring for one’s neighbour.

In this lecture, Dr. Scott Kline appeals to the parable of the Good Samaritan to make the case for an approach to healthcare ethics that is rooted in Catholic social teaching. He asks, for example, how might Catholic teaching on the dignity of the human person humanize the hospital experience? How might it help reframe illness and disease not in isolation but as part of the human experience? How can a renewed understanding of community help save lives by engaging community responders? And how can the Gospel imperative put the needs of the poor and under-serviced first to help redress social and economic injustices in modern healthcare?

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 27, 7:00-9:00 PM

This lecture will be offered in person at St. Mark's Chapel and live on Zoom.

Cost: Free



Dr. Scott Kline (PhD) is the inaugural Visiting Scholar in Ethics at Providence Health Care (PHC) and St. Mark’s College at UBC. Kline holds a PhD in Christian Social Ethics, extensive academic teaching experience, and is an established theologian and researcher. He has also served as Interim President and Vice-Chancellor at St. Jerome’s University-University of Waterloo. Dr. Kline’s current research focuses on the role of faith-based organizations in systems approaches to homelessness, which he conducts with his wife Dr. Megan Shore, and he is involved in a research project with Dr. Jim Christenson, emergency physician at St. Paul’s and Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UBC, on the Samaritan theme of neighbour saving neighbour, which focuses on rapid and effective responses to cardiac arrests.

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