Canadian bioethicist and educator, Sr. Nuala Kenny, has been awarded an honorary degree by St. Mark’s College at the University of British Columbia. Register file photo

Sr. Kenny awarded honorary degree by St. Mark’s College

  • May 10, 2017

Sr. Nuala Kenny, Canadian bioethicist and educator, has earned one more degree to add her already impressive collection.

St. Mark’s College at the University of British Columbia announced May 9 that Kenny will be awarded the school’s highest honour, the Doctor of Sacred Letters.

The honour is in recognition of Kenny’s work in child health, medical education and bioethics, the school said in a release. “She has long helped both the Church and society tackle fundamental ethical questions in health care and policy, including research ethics, the protection of minors, sexual abuse prevention, and euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

The degree will be presented May 13 at the college’s convocation.

"Sister Kenny exemplifies the values of St. Mark's College, along with our mission to help our students 'think rigorously, act justly, and serve faithfully'," said Dr. Peter Meehan, principal of St. Mark's. "We are proud to recognize Sister Kenny for her many significant contributions to ethics and teaching, for being a champion of the vulnerable, for approaching her work with an enormous sense of empathy, and for helping the church not only explore the causes of, and harm caused by, the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Church, but also help in finding possible ways forward."

Kenny, born in New York, joined the Sisters of Charity in Halifax in 1962. Ten years later she graduated from Dalhousie University Medical School and became a pediatrician. She returned to Dalhousie in 1988 to head the pediatrics department and, in 1996, created the school’s Department of Bioethics. In 1999, she was awarded Officer of the Order of Canada.

Today she is Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie and an advisor to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committee for the protection of minors.

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