Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCentre for Human Bioethics
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Assoc.Prof Justin Oakley


Previously coded PHL3100


This unit examines key philosophical issues and concepts in contemporary applied ethics, focusing on more advanced philosophical discussions in this area. The unit considers issues and concepts in ethical debates about the beginning and the end of life, such as the status of human life, persons, and potential persons, along with acts and omissions, the doctrine of double effect, and personal identity questions raised by advance directives. The unit also investigates conceptual and ethical issues raised by debates about genetic interventions and access to assisted reproduction, such as the nature and moral significance of eugenics, disability, and wrongful life, and notions of parenthood.


On successfully completing this unit, students will have:

  1. familiarity with key philosophical issues and concepts in contemporary applied ethics
  2. skills enabling them to critically analyse contemporary debates in applied ethics which depend on such issues and concepts
  3. the ability to make informed judgments about those ethical and conceptual issues.


Written work: 100%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two gateway units in Philosophy or first-year sequence in Bioethics, and one of the following: CHB2100, ATS2839, ATS2871, ATS2868, ATS2869, ATS2859.

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