FAMILY commitments once prevented Kimberley Pfeiffer from following studies in the increasingly important field of Christian bioethics.
The Brisbane mother of two welcomed the news Brisbane’s Queensland Bioethics Centre will host Melbourne’s John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family graduate courses in bioethics from next year.
Mrs Pfeiffer is also keen to attend an information night being held at Brisbane’s Francis Rush Centre on September 3 with speakers including Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Professors Tracey Rowland and Nicholas Tonti-Filippini from the Melbourne institute.
“A couple of years back when I was employed in Adelaide’s Southern Cross Bioethics Institute I looked at doing further studies in the field,” she said.
“I would have had to visit Melbourne periodically to attend intensive courses as part of the studies.
“With a young family this would have been almost impossible.
“I eventually abandoned the idea.”
Mrs Pfeiffer has moved to Brisbane where she has been engaged in research work for the past year with the QBC.
“So it’s wonderful that the course has followed me here,” she said.
“I’m definitely keen to make a start on the graduate certificate next year.”
QBC director Dr Ray Campbell said he had heard of several people having similar difficulties to Mrs Pfeiffer in undertaking the studies.
“I’m picking up a lot of enthusiasm for the chance to attend these graduate courses in bioethics up here in Brisbane,” he said.
“Questions considered in bioethics such as euthanasia, abortion and prenatal testing for birth abnormalities are ones which touch our everyday lives.
“They are also frequently matters of public policy.”
Dr Campbell said the information night at the Francis Rush Centre in the St Stephen’s Cathedral precinct would give those interested the chance to get a fuller picture of what was being offered.
“Archbishop Coleridge will speak on the importance of a Catholic perspective in bioethics.
“Professors Rowland and Tonti-Filippini, who are lecturers at the Melbourne JPII Institute for Family and Marriage, will give an outline of courses.”
Dr Campbell will be one of the course lecturers and said the QBC’s extensive library would be available as a resource for students.
He said among areas covered will be the theological and philosophical foundations of Catholic bioethics as well as beginning and end of life issues.
Professor Tonti-Filippini said it was pleasing to see the bioethics graduate courses getting under way in Brisbane.
“Nurses, doctors, lawyers, social workers, teachers…anyone with a degree will be able to undertake these courses and find them most valuable,” he said.
“We’ve been running courses in WA and Sydney with approval from the Commonwealth Government accreditation body TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency.
“Approval has recently come through from the TEQSA for the Brisbane course.
“Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University has also accredited the courses.”
Professor Tonti-Filippini said Archbishop Coleridge had been encouraging of the initiative.
“We’ve also received a lot of support from the Brisbane Guild of St Luke (a Catholic medical organisation) – they’ve been pushing very hard to get the courses here,” he said.
“A few other intending students have already contacted us and I know of two Brisbane people currently studying in Melbourne who’ll be glad to continue their studies back home.”
Those wishing to attend the September 3 information night on the bioethics courses are asked to reply by August 28 either by emailing email@example.com or phoning (07) 3366 2111.