SHU to start only Catholic medical school in NJ

Seton Hall Medical School will be the only private, Catholic medical school in the northeast region in America, and sixth in the country according to Senior Associate Provost Dr. Joan Guetti.

Guetti said that despite Hackensack University Health Network, the group Seton Hall is working with in establishing the school, being a non denominational foundation, Seton Hall’s Catholic mission is a reason for the school’s opening.

“We believe that our mission in the driving force for the School of Medicine to become the preeminent center for training servant leaders in Catholic-based health science education in the northeast,” said Guetti.

Dr. Ines Murzaku, founding chair of department of Catholic studies, said that the medical field is “a human-centered vocation, and secondly, it is a service profession… it is closely and intimately connected with Seton Hall’s Catholic mission.”

“Seton Hall Medical School will focus on producing doctors in primary care service-oriented specialties, including internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology,” said Murzaku.

According to Guetti, the medical school’s curriculum will follow the teachings put together by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“The students will not participate in any procedures that violate these directives,” said Guetti.

According to the Directives, abortion is “never permitted” and assisted suicide is “never condoned.”  They also state that medication that lessens the pain of a patient who is nearing their death is permitted, however “Patients experiencing suffering that cannot be alleviated should be helped to appreciate the Christian understanding of redemptive suffering.”

More information can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/ upload/Ethical-Religious-Directives-Catholic-Health-Care-Services-fifth-edition-2009.pdf.

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that the opening of the medical school was approved by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners. The proposal for the school will next be reviewed by the American Medical Association’s Liaison Committee for Medical Education. Seton Hall Medical School is set to open in the fall of 2017.

Tiffany Do can be reached at tiffany.do@student.shu.edu.

Author: Tiffany Do

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