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Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2010 (Day)
South Africa Second semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Linda Barclay


The unit investigates how the law and public policy should respond to advances in medicine and biotechnology and covers: whether employers and insurance companies should be permitted to discriminate among applicants on the basis of their genetic profile; whether the law should protect individuals' genetic privacy or whether we have a duty to share our genetic knowledge; whether the law should act paternalistically to prevent people from harming themselves; whether people who are partly responsible for their own bad health should receive lower priority of care in hospitals, or whether advances in knowledge in the biological bases for behaviour give us reason to doubt individual responsibility.


On successfully completing this unit, students will have:

  1. familiarity with the key philosophical approaches to discrimination, autonomy, responsibility and equality as they apply to debates within bioethics
  2. skills enabling them to think critically about key ethical, policy and legal issues raised by recent advances in medicine
  3. biotechnology; the ability to make informed judgements about those ethical, policy and legal issues.


Written work: 60% (2500 words)
Exam: 35%
Tutorial performance: 5%

Chief examiner(s)

Linda Barclay

Contact hours

2 one-hour lectures and 1 one-hour tutorial per week

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


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