Protection of Conscience Project
The world’s first faculty of bioethics will begin offering first year Bachelor, Master and Doctorate courses in October, 2001.
A two year (four semester) bachelor’s degree will offer basic interdisciplinary preparation courses and seminars in five areas: bioethics, medicine, law, philosophy and theology. The master’s degree requires two more years (four semesters) of study, concluding with a comprehensive final examination..
The Bioethics Faculty is an initiative of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, a Catholic ecclesiastical university centre. The faculty is assisted by an international Scientific Council of 23 experts from 11 countries. Among them is Dr. John Fleming, Director of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, and a member of the Protection of Conscience Project Advisory Board.
Sean Murphy, Administrator of the non-denominational Protection of Conscience Project, welcomed the initiative.
“One of the criticisms of bioethics, as it is too often practised in North America, is that it is an expression of the hidden faith of secularism,” said Murphy. “The unexamined beliefs of the establishment elite are often the root of their intolerance of conscientious objectors.”
“By working explicitly within a philosophical tradition and faith perspective,” he explained, “the new faculty will illustrate that different beliefs about the nature of the human person lead to different ethical conclusions.”
“Once that becomes clear,” he concluded, “we may hope to see more meaningful and productive discourse about pluralism and freedom of conscience .”