A leading academic has said he hopes that the Catholic ethos of the country’s largest Catholic college will not be affected after authorities there rejected a new course on Christian ethics in healthcare.
Academics at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick had been approached by hospital chaplains for professional training to deal with some of the complex ethical dilemmas that arise in healthcare.
A programme was developed and submitted to the college authorities for approval. However, a decision was made to disallow the proposed Certificate in Christian Ethics in Healthcare.
Prof. Eamonn Conway – head of theology and religious studies at Mary Immaculate – told The Irish Catholic that he was “surprised by the college management’s decision to disallow” the course.
He said that there was nothing extraordinary in the proposal given that “publicly-funded higher education institutions often provide specially designed courses for professionals. For instance, Waterford Institute of Technology provides a certificate in custodial care for prison officers.”
Prof. Conway said that the programme was developed to meet “a felt need among hospital chaplains and healthcare professionals for Christian ethics programme”.
“Nowadays they frequently encounter ethical dilemmas in an increasingly complex working environment and they wanted us to share with them the richness of the Christian tradition in helping to address these issues,” he said.
Expressing disappointment at the decision of the college, Prof. Conway said “I sincerely hope this will not cause any damage to our Catholic ethos.
“Our Catholic identity has been very important in forging strategic links with colleges overseas and as a department we remain very committed to serving the Church’s mission,” he said.
When contacted by The Irish Catholic this week, a spokesperson for the college said that the President Prof. Eugene Wall is currently on leave and therefore it would not be possible to provide a response before this newspaper went to print.