Working on his anatomy and cell biology degree with the intention of becoming a surgeon, Cory A. Labrecque was pulled aside by an advisor who noted all of the religion and ethics electives that he was taking and counseled him to stay away from non-science courses or risk throwing out any chance for admission into the full-stream med program. For Labrecque, this type of academic polarization was “exceedingly foreign.” Labrecque’s home is in bioethics because he has found that “medicine and religion have much to say to each other.” He describes the promotion of this type of “interdisciplinary project” as a pressing academic venture “to engage all others.”
Dr. Labrecque also expounded upon the relevance of the graduate Bioethics program housed at the Center for Ethics. He has been frustrated by a “religious illiteracy that abounds” and believes it can be mitigated through the incorporation of religion in interdisciplinary academic settings. His passion for this topic has led him to ask questions like, “how do ethics and religion unfold in healthcare settings?” As a number of medical schools have begun shifting their curricula from a “body and disease” oriented focus to a more “bio-psycho-social” focus, the greatest concern should be the composite human person; therefore, the curricula must also include religion and ethics. Labrecque notes that there are certain “resources that religions offer” in a medical setting that need to be addressed, understood, and worked with in order to fully communicate with patients. For these new understandings and innovative questions, we welcome Dr. Labrecque to the Center for Ethics.