Story of TWU nursing grad adds perspective to law school debate

Editor: Troy Landreville’s recent article ‘Eye-opening Experience’ (the Times, Jan.19), opens our eyes to the suffering that occurs in this world and to one young woman who wants to ease it. I found it to be a thought-provoking article because of a paradox that is occurring right now in Canada.

Kalisse Barwich, R.N., the young nurse who is featured in the story, is a Trinity Western University (TWU) nursing school graduate. She has gone out of her way to show empathy, humility, sensitivity and care for a disenfranchised group of people.

“I have the opportunity no matter where I am nursing,” explains Barwich, “to show people that they have value.”

Yet at this very moment, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin is deliberating whether TWU should be allowed to develop a law school, because of the speculation that prospective TWU students (who reject TWU’s community standards) might suffer prejudice, or even that TWU grads might exhibit prejudice against future clients. TWU’s appeal was against the B.C. and Ontario law societies’ refusal to offer recognition of a proposed law school.

While the rhetoric of the dissenting law societies conjectures that TWU’s community standards create discrimination and therefore are a breeding ground for abuses of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, one wonders who is discriminating against whom.

Kalisse Barwich’s overseas service embodies everything her Alma Mater taught her. She, and hundreds of other TWU grads from the schools of nursing, education, business, arts and media, counseling, and many other courses of study epitomize the highest levels of compassion and value of human dignity. Rather than restricting human rights, they go out of their way to ease human suffering, to offer care and hope. Why would a school of law at TWU be any different?

Susan Hitchman,


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