Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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0 points, SCA Band 1, 0.000 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCentre for Human Bioethics
OfferedCity (Melbourne) First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Tatjana Visak


This unit focuses initially on three ethical principles used to justify decisions in patient care: autonomy, 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 care giving, and conscientious refusals to treat patients.


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

  1. bring a rigorous framework of principles of health care ethics to the analysis and evaluation of certain ethical issues in patient care;
  2. think critically about the key concepts involved in those principles;
  3. 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% (5000 words)
Take home exam: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2.5-hour seminar per week


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