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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Second semester 2011 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Assoc. Prof. Justin Oakley


Previously coded CHB5203


This unit focuses initially on four ethical principles used to justify decisions in patient care: autonomy, privacy, beneficence, and justice. These principles are then applied to a variety of ethical issues in health care practice, such as the allocation of health care resources, the justifiability of paternalistic interventions, breaches of confidentiality, assisted reproductive technologies, surrogate motherhood, and euthanasia. The role of health professionals is also considered, in relation to issues in family caregiving, and conscientious refusals to treat patients, and the unit also examines some key ethical issues in biomedical research involving human subjects.


On successful completion of APG5729, students should have acquired the skills to:

  • bring a rigorous framework of principles of health care ethics to the analysis and evaluation of certain ethical issues in patient care;
  • think critically about the key concepts involved in those principles; and
  • make informed judgements about the ethics of certain ways of acting in ethically sensitive areas of patient care, and be able to defend those judgements on the basis of argument.


Written work: 60% (6000 words)
Take home exam: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Assoc. Prof. Justin Oakley

Contact hours

one 2.5 hour seminar per week


APG5393 or equivalent


APG5729 and APG5733; APG5729 and APG4714

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: