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


Dr Ryan Tonkens



  • First semester 2016 (Online)

City (Melbourne)

  • First semester 2016 (Day)


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 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
  • 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.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Exam: 40%

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


APG4729, APG5733, APG4714, APR5729

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