Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Centre for Human Bioethics


Associate Professor Catherine Mills


Not offered in 2016


Matters of the human body are central to many issues discussed in bioethics, and, although mainstream bioethics has largely ignored questions of embodiment, they have become central to recent approaches. This course examines the significant impact that bodily characteristics such as gender, race, age and ability have in bioethics and healthcare. It begins with philosophical exploration of ways of understanding the human body and moral personhood, then extends into topics such as: pregnancy and moral agency; race, genomics and personalized medicine; ageing, technology and care; disability and selective reproductive technologies; health, illness and human enhancement.


  1. In-depth familiarity with recent developments in bioethics research;
  2. An understanding of the central role of the human body for ethics in healthcare;
  3. The ability to provide rigorous, in-depth analysis of bioethical issues, including applying theoretical frameworks to practical problems;
  4. The ability to develop and articulate one's own position regarding bioethical issues;
  5. High level skills in both written and oral expression;
  6. High level research skills.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


APG4393 or APG5393