The Australian Medical Council (AMC) yesterday gave official accreditation to the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Australia’s first Catholic medical school. However, some members of the council, and the Australian media have expressed concern that because the school is Catholic it may provide inadequate and biased teaching.
According to Australian journalist Charlie Wilson-Clark, the AMC’s report listed certain reservations with regard to the university’s stance on “homosexuality, abortion, contraception, IVF and euthanasia” saying that they present philosophical and physical constraints "which may affect the provision of teaching and clinical experience which is both adequate and unbiased".
The University will teach compulsory units in theology, philosophy and ethics to all students.
The AMC listed the $15 million financial backing and the partnership with Curtin University which wil provide facilities for biomedical training, and a commitment to provide a solid grounding in medical ethics as strengths.
“I am totally convinced that the Catholic nature of the university will only enhance the educational experience, not restrict it," said Professor Adrian Bower, head of the new medical school. He also said that "religion had not formed part of the selection criteria for students.”