Faculty of Arts

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 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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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 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
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Off-campus)
City (Melbourne) Second semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2012 (Off-campus)


Previously coded CHB5204


This unit provides a framework for analysing and evaluating public policy and law in areas of concern in bioethics. The unit focuses initially on what values the state ought to promote, and the formulation of public policy in democratic pluralist societies. These political moralities are then used to examine current law and public policy in areas of bioethical concern, such as abortion, pre-birth testing, embryonic stem cell research, reproductive cloning, surrogate motherhood, voluntary euthanasia, and the treatment of newborn infants with severe disabilities. The unit also considers law and public policy in relation to informed consent, conflict of interest, and the regulation of research on humans.


On successful completion of APG5730 students should have acquired the skills to:

  • uncover the political values underlying views about State regulation of various reproductive and health care practices
  • think critically about those political values
  • understand some of the practical problems in State regulation of various reproductive and health care practices
  • develop sufficient understanding of the ethics of regulating various reproductive and health care practices to provide a basis for forming your own views on these matters.


Written work (5000 words): 50%
Take home exam: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Assoc. Prof. Michael Selgelid

Contact hours

For on-campus students: four day-long seminars during the semester, most likely in Weeks 1, 4, 7 and 10.
For off-campus students: no timetabled contact hours although students are welcome to attend seminars for on-campus students when the unit is running in both modes.


APG5393 and APG5729, or equivalent, or with approval.


APG5730 and APG5734; APG5730 and APG4715

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