Alex Garvey

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2015


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Henk ten Have

Committee Member

Joris Gielen


Catholic healthcare, Governance, Mission and Identity of Catholic Organizations, organizational ethics, Partnerships, Sponsorship


Catholic healthcare in the U.S. is distinctive in its organizational structure insofar as it typically has Sponsorship as well as Governance oversight, reflecting the Catholic social tradition and organizational ethics to engage both patient care and the public good. Sponsorship deals with the mission and identity of Catholic organizations to ensure that they implement the Catholic social tradition. Governance deals with organizational ethics to ensure that the organization's values (reflecting its mission and identity) influence all aspects of the institution. Because these are intricately connected, the dissertation deals with them in an integrated manner, hence the combined focus upon Sponsorship and Governance oversight. To express this integrative approach the analysis refers to organizational ethics (implementing the perspective of the Catholic social tradition) for Sponsorship and Governance in Catholic healthcare.

This oversight is explained with regard to specific issues. There needs to be enhanced oversight of current issues as well as intense oversight of emerging trends. Enhanced oversight requires more attention to current issues that Catholic healthcare typically engages insofar as they have changed slightly, reflecting revised Church teaching or changing secular awareness. These issues relate both to patient care (such as end of life care or withdrawing futile life-sustaining treatment) and to the public good (such as rationing, minorities in research, vaccinations, or antibiotics). Intense oversight requires more vigorous attention to deal with emerging trends that are pivotal for Catholic healthcare, reflecting the changing landscape of healthcare itself. These trends also relate to patient care (such as quality and safety) and to the public good (such as community benefit programs and conflicted organizational partnerships).