FREMANTLE, November 29, 2004 ( – The newly established Catholic medical school in Fremantle Australia has just run into the one hard and fast rule in the world of bioethics; the only moral evil is to say anything is a moral evil.

Fremantle’s University of Notre Dame received official accreditation from the Australian Medical Council yesterday for its medical school. The AMC in its approval of the school has expressed “concerns” about possible “bias” in the school’s ethics classes on the grounds that Catholic teaching breaks the bioethicists’ code of absolute moral indifference on abortion, homosexuality, and contraception, seemingly the bioethics world’s triumvirate of sacrosanct issues.

The school, which is in the diocese of Perth, has 80 students waiting to begin classes in February in a four-year post-graduate degree programme. Units in theology, philosophy and ethics are compulsory. The AMC report targeted Catholic teaching on homosexuality, abortion, contraception, IVF and euthanasia as presenting problems “which may affect the provision of teaching and clinical experience which is both adequate and unbiased.”  But the state of medical ethics training in many Catholic institutions of higher learning should put to rest the AMC’s concerns. Notre Dame’s Professor Adrian Bower who helped establish the school said that there would be no problems of Catholic bias. He told the West Australian that the courses in theology were about “questions of humanity, spirituality and a range of different faiths.”  Read West Australian coverage: