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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

New Imaging Technologies at the End of Life: Promises and Ethical Challenges

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life


Andrea Vicini, S.J., M.D.
Boston College

Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
 12:00-1:15 PM 
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road

Abstract: Recent studies with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) suggest that we might detect consciousness in vegetative patients with a minimally conscious state. Theologically, these developments invite us to re-think consciousness, identity, and care by focusing on relationality.


Andrea Vicini, S.J., M.D., is an Associate Professor of Moral Theology and Bioethics at the Faculty of Theology of Southern Italy: S. Luigi (Naples, Italy). He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor and was formerly Gasson Chair (2009-2010) at Boston College. A practicing pediatrician, he received his Medical Degree and specialization in pediatrics from the University of Bologna (Bologna, Italy), a Bachelors in Theology from Centre Sevres (Paris, France), a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Boston College, and a second doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Faculty of Theology of Southern Italy. He has taught in Italy, Albania, Mexico, Chad, France, and in the United States. A lecturer and member of important associations of moral theologians and bioethicists (in Italy, Europe and the United States), his research interests include: fundamental moral theology, biotechnologies, reproductive technologies, end of life issues, medical ethics, genetics, and environmental issues. 


In the News

Traumatic Brain Injury has been labeled the "signature injury" of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In a recent 3 part article, Barbara Mannino explores the science, personal, and policy aspects of this injury ("Growing Threat to Soldiers: Traumatic Brain Injury," March 09, 2011, FOXBusiness). On Wed., March 30, Andrea Vicini, S.J., M.D., discussed the ethical questions surrounding the detection of consciousness in vegetative patients. Click here to listen to an audio recording of his talk.