PBH2107 - Public health and ethics short international program - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Mrs Evie Kendal

Dr Basia Diug

Unit guides




This unit will grant credit to Monash students enrolling in the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics' 2-month intensive bioethics Summer program.

This is a unique program open to American and international undergraduate and postgraduate students, and to professionals working in health science, medicine and health law.

It focuses on the ethical requirements for research involving humans, animals and the environment

Participants will attend a series of morning lectures presented by Yale faculty staff and visiting scholars from around the world, surveying the field of medical, research and environmental ethics.

In addition, students will attend 6 intensive seminars on special topics such as care for the dying, bioethics and law, bioethics and media, literature, technology and ethics, public health ethics, and feminist approaches to bioethics.

Each interactive seminar will represent 12 hours of contact and an equivalent number of hours of private study.

Students will also attend a bioethics film/discussion series; participate in field trips to bioethics-related institutions; present a structured group debate; and present an original paper at a final in-house "mini-conference".

The aim of the program is to expose a diverse range of students to the various legal and ethical challenges facing health practice today.

For Monash students this program provides a valuable insight into other health care systems around the world, and how these differ to the Australian context.

The selection process will involve two stages. Students will complete the application process as per the Summer Institute's guidelines and first submit these documents to the Medical Education and Research Quality unit (MERQ) at SPHPM by the internal deadline.

MERQ will then create a shortlist of potential applicants taking into account academic history, achievement relative to opportunity, relevant work experience, career aspirations and responses to key selection criteria.

This shortlist will then be sent to the Summer Institute and the final selection will be made.

MERQ will liaise with Monash Abroad to ensure the selection process is fair and equitable and that students from a variety of faculties and year levels are considered.

Where appropriate consultation with student groups will assist in the decision-making process.

Students must have a minimum WAM of 70% at the time of application to be considered for entry to this unit.


On successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Demonstrate competency with core ethical principles related to public health and medical research.
  2. Appraise and evaluate various philosophical approaches to issues of discrimination, privacy, autonomy and equality of opportunity as they relate to public health and medical research.
  3. Critically discuss, evaluate and interpret the ethical and legal issues arising from advances in medical science and biotechnology.
  4. Contribute to informed discussions on different international approaches to patient care and the legal and ethical duties of health professionals.
  5. Use case studies to defend a particular ethical judgment with regards to patient rights and resource allocation decisions.
  6. Engage and communicate with peers from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds to collaboratively develop ethical policies in health care.
  7. Critically engage with media representations of medical research, researchers and health professionals.
  8. Identify key differences across various national health care systems around the world.


Students will need to travel to Connecticut, USA to attend the program. On campus accommodation is available. All site visits are organised by the Yale Bioethics Center and associated transport costs are included in the institute fees.


  • 3 x Site visit short written reports (600 words each) (5% each) (15%)
  • Group debate (1,200 words) (10%)
  • Oral presentation individual component at Yale (10 mins) & group seminar component at Monash (30 mins) (20%)
  • Original research paper on a bioethical topic of the student's own choosing under the advice of their supervisor (6,000 words) (50%) (Hurdle)
  • Seminar participation (5%)


  • Attendance at all program events (maximum of 5 absences permitted without documented excuse).

Workload requirements

This 2-month intensive is taught on-site at Yale University. The program involves daily 2-hour lectures (total of 80 hours) and six 12-hour seminars (total of 72 hours). In addition there are a number of site visits (approx. 20 hours total) and optional discussion groups students can attend. Typical sites include the Hastings Center, Connecticut Hospice and Monsanto Corporation.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Must have completed:

HSC1101 and HSC1102


BMA1011 and BMA1012


HSC1200 and HSC1400




with permission.