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Name: Gary Toman STL MA BSc (Hons) 

Research Theme: Supportive and Palliative Care

Research Title: A Critical Examination of the Understanding and Use of Human Dignity in End of Life Care.

Research Interests: My Research interests include a broad spectrum understanding of the ‘patient as person’. I have particular interest in the philosophical and theological understanding of the human being from conception to death. This includes the application of such understanding to healthcare policy and practice especially in the areas of palliative care (especially End of life Care), perinatal care and the upholding of the Dignity of the human person.

Supervisors: Dr. Peter O’Hallaron and Prof. Maria Lohan


ResearchGate Profile: N/A

Personal Bio:

I am currently in my final year of my PhD. I have had a long association with Queen’s University. It is where I undertook my initial undergraduate degree in ‘The Biological Sciences’ and followed with a Master’s Degree in ‘Scholastic Philosophy’. For 12.5 years, I was a Chaplain to the University and helped with teaching in various student selected elements in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences. I did higher degrees in Theology/Divinity in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and I have been a member of various Bioethics committees.  I am currently a Dominican Friar of the Irish Province.

Project Summary:


This study aims to systematically explore and explicate the meaning of ‘Human dignity’ and its application to policies, procedures and protocols pertaining to care of persons at the end of life. This study examines the philosophical and historical development of the meaning of human dignity and hopes to augment what may be missing from the present discussion regarding its use.  By using a methodology suggested by the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, a historical analysis using Lebech’s historical frameworks and a philosophical analysis we hope to discover:


  1. How the word ‘Dignity’ is currently understood.
  2. The Historical and Philosophical development of ‘Dignity’.
  3. How it is understood in the context of end of life care.

How a refreshed understanding of dignity can help us to tackle particular issues pertaining to the care of the dying person?

My Perfect PhD Day

It starts with finding an elusive ‘grey literature’ document, and finishes with the completion a long philosophical argument that logically makes sense.



Other Activites


When I’m not PhDing…

I am contemplating and responding to the call of the Priory bell. 


Conferences & Publications: