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Electives - Humanities and Ethics in Medicine
Religious Traditions and Medicine
Elective Number: (Oasis E18a) 3501
Rotation Supervisor: Dr. James F. Childress
Coordinator: Dr. Marcia Day Childress, 5361 Barringer, 434.924.5974; firstname.lastname@example.org
Available: Rotation 8
Report to: TBA
Time to Report: 9:00 am
Place to Report: Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities Office, Barringer 5
Typical Day: 9:00 - 11:00 am
Attendance: Attendance at elective activities is mandatory.
Number of students per rotation: Minimum of 4, Maximum of 12
Course Description: This course examines how major religious traditions—particularly Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and African religions—understand health, illness, suffering, medical treatment, healing, and death. The course also considers spiritual questions that often arise for patients and families (and for doctors) during illness, including questions about evil, suffering, and tragic choices.
Learning objectives: Participants in this course will be able to:
Understand major faith traditions' basic beliefs and practices as these relate
to health, illness, suffering, medical care, healing, and death
The course meets three times a week in seminars of two to three hours each. Faculty from the University of Virginia's Department of Religious Studies and the School of Medicine lead the sessions and there is much lively discussion. In consultation with the course director, each student completes short writing assignments related to the course work; students write and present a longer paper at the end of the course. Participants also attend Medical Center Hour.
Readings may include The Park Ridge Center's brochures on particular
faith traditions (1996-1997); Margaret Mohrmann, M.D., Medicine as
selections from Warren T. Reich, ed., Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 2nd
ed. (1995); Anne Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
(1997); and short articles
from the medical literature.