Introductory Course in Bioethics

Dal 3 Luglio 2017 al 7 Luglio 2017 dalle ore 09:00 alle ore 18.30 presso Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum

Current Challenges in Bioethics

The 16th International Summer Course in Bioethics is organized by the School of Bioethics of the Pontificio Ateneo Regina Apostolorum. This course is offered for those who would like to have a greater comprehension of bioethics principles and different bioethical issues. After this introductory week on Bioethics from July 3-7, the second week course from July 10-14 is “The Medicalization of Sexuality.” The summer course is sponsored by the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights.

 What can I do? What should I do? No human action can escape these questions. The answers to them are not always clear; moral choices are often not at all easy. Complex situations arise when we face suffering or when we have to make life-or-death choices. Other cases may be difficult only because they raise new questions for which we feel unprepared.

 Bioethics addresses all these questions and, with an interdisciplinary methodology that combines scientific knowledge with philosophical and theological reflections, it guides us to the right answers. This Summer Course on Introduction to Bioethics offers an overview of bioethical issues in light of the basic principles that guide our practical choices.  Some examples of such choices include whether to start a therapy that could have serious consequences, what a couple may ethically do in order to have or not have a child, what we should do with frozen embryos, how we should teach young people to respect their bodies and not play around with their lives, how we should deal with homosexual tendencies, and to what extent rapid progress in science and technology—cloning, neuroscience, nanotechnology—can “improve” man.

 The course will address these and other situations relevant to bioethics, with the help of multimedia materials, lectures by professors from Regina Apostolorum and other experts, and group work. Because human action is always interwoven with ethical questions, we will seek the right answers together, investigating the truth for the sake of life.


Lectures and topics:

 Group work and workshops:


Course coordinator: Prof. Massimo Losito

 General Information




Date Session Time Conference Speaker
7/3/2017 Bioethics Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: history, models, and principles of bioethics 09:00-10:30 Bioethics Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: meaning and epistemology Joseph Tham
11:00-12:15 Bioethics Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: history, models, and principles Gonzalo Miranda
12:15-13:00 Case study Gonzalo Miranda
Expecting a Child: the horizon and meaning of human sexuality 15:00-16:30 Expecting a child: love, sex, fertililty and meaning Giorgia Brambilla
17:00-18:30 Expecting a child: contraception Giorgia Brambilla
7/4/2017 Original origins: humanity in its embryonic state 09:00-10:30 Original origins: status of human embryo Louis Melahn
11:00-12:00 Originati originali: aborto Louis Melahn
12:00-13:00 The Five Test Tubes of Human Existence: general criteria and techniques Joseph Tham
The Five Test Tubes of Human Existence: criteria and orientations of assisted reproduction 15:00-16:00 The New Ice Age: Debate on frozen embryos Gonzalo Miranda
16:30-17:45 The Five Test Tubes of Human Existence: Cloning Joseph Tham
17:45-18:30 The Five Test Tubes of Human Existence: NaProTechnology Joseph Tham
7/5/2017 GENDEReality: history, current debate, scientific facts of the so-called gender theory 09:00-9:45 GendeReality: history Marta Rodriguez
9:45-10:30 GendeReality: philosophic aspects Marta Rodriguez
11:00-11:45 GendeReality: scientific aspects Giorgia Brambilla
11:45-13:00 Indifferent to the differences: “The Norwegian Paradox” video e discussions Giorgia Brambilla
Brave new experiments: bioethics, experimentations, consent 15:00-16:30 Informed Consent – Dr. House video and discussions Joseph Tham
17:00-18:30 Face of a Guinea Pig: Borderline Human Experimentations Francisco Ballesta
7/6/2017 All in their proper places: humanity, family, society, ecology 09:00-10:30 Ecological Humanity Massimo Losito
11:00-12:00 The Wayward Child: Risky Behavior and dependencies Giorgia Brambilla
Homo sapiens 2.0: genetics, neurobioethics, and the posthuman 12:00-13:00 Improving humanity? Genetics, Neurobioethics and posthumanism Alberto Carrara
15:00-15:45 Improving humanity? Genetics, Neurobioethics and posthumanism Alberto Carrara
16:00-18:30 Film forum: GATTACA Massimo Losito
7/7/2017 From Bio-law to Personal Rights: healthcare in the age of medicine of desires 09:00-10:30 Service by Number… models of healthcare policies Francisco Ballesta
11:00-12:15 From Bio-Law to Personal Rights: Conscientious objection and the medicine of desires Alberto Garcia
Tail End of a Symphony: bioethics and end of life 12:15-13:00 Tail End of a Symphony: End of Life ethics Gonzalo Miranda
15:00-15:45 In the end… Debate on end of life cases Gonzalo Miranda
15:45-16:30 Tail End of a Symphony: between therapeutic obstinacy and euthanasia Gonzalo Miranda
17:00-17:45 Final Exam
17:45-18:30 Handing out Certificates / Open Forum



(Stephen) Joseph Tham, LC 譚傑志神父

    Decano della Facoltà di Bioetica; Professore straordinario di Bioetica

Gonzalo Miranda González de Echávarri

    Professore ordinario di Bioetica; Professore invitato di Teologia

Alberto García

    Professore straordinario di Bioetica

Massimo Losito

    Professore aggregato di Bioetica

Francisco José Ballesta Ballester

    Professore straordinario di Bioetica

Giorgia Brambilla

    Professoressa aggregata di Bioetica; Professoressa invitata dell'Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose

Alberto Carrara

    Professore invitato di Filosofia

Louis Louis Frederick Melahn

    Professore invitato di Bioetica; Professore assistente di Filosofia

Marta Rodriguez

    Direttrice dell'Istituto di studi superiori sulla donna


Scholarship application for university students

30 full scholarships covering to the tuition fees of one week of bioethics course are available for students studying in a university.  Students can apply to attend one or both weeks of the summer course, please specify the preferences in the application.  Applicants will be selected based on academic excellence and personal interest in the subjects.  Applications must be made to [email protected] by April 15, 2017 and they will be informed about the result of this application by April 28, 2017. To apply, they must submit the following documents:

1)      Curriculum Vitae.

2)      GPA average of previous university years up to the point of application.

3)      One letter of reference.

Come arrivare: Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum


Tuition Fees

Payment can be made in the following ways:


Standard fee One week €325
Both weeks €550
One day of conference during the second week.  CME credits requested €65
Special fee:

Priests, religious, students in bioethics, students of ISSR, alumni of APRA, doctoral students in bioethics, Members of Italian Assoc. of Andrology. Groups of 6 or more*.

One week €250
Both weeks €400

*Group registration is to be done by the person in charge of the group. The one in charge should:

  1. a) Submit a presentation letter for the group to the general secretary of the Ateneo, containing the names of all the members and the required documentation (registration form, ID, etc.) for each member.
  2. b) Pay the all the members’ fees at one time.

The deadlines to register and pay for the course are July 3 for Module I and July 10 for Module II. We will not accept registration for those who apply for credits (ECTS) after these dates.
Payment can be made at the counter of the Administration during the hours open to the public, or by bank transfer.

To obtain ECTS credits:

Those who wish to follow the course and obtain academic recognition (obtain European credits ECTS):

Secretariat of the School of Bioethics
Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum
Via Aldobrandeschi, 190
00163 Rome, Italy

Without obtaining ECTS credits:

Those who wish to follow the course only (without need of certificate of European credits ECTS):


For lodging close to the Athenaeum, please contact:


The university has an internal restaurant.

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