Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
OfferedClayton Second semester (extended) 2013 (Day)
Clayton Second semester (extended) 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Ms Giuliana Fuscaldo, Dr Sally Catt and Dr Peter Temple-Smith


This unit examines the current legislation and regulations governing the clinical practice of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and related research, nationally and internationally. It describes the role of ethical frameworks and
principles in health decision-making and analyses regulation in ART with respect to underlying moral and ethical principles. An introduction to ethical problem solving is presented. The major ethical issues raised by assisted reproductive technologies are examined and critically evaluated.


On completion of this unit students will:

  1. Understand the current major legislative and non-legislative schemes for regulating IVF in Australia and have some knowledge of how the Australian situation compares with other countries
  2. Be aware of the relevant regulatory bodies and their requirements for licensing, accrediting and approving clinical and ART related research
  3. Have a broad understanding of the legal and ethical issues surrounding IVF, gamete and embryo donation, embryo experimentation, surrogacy, cloning, stem cell research and genetic selection and manipulation
  4. Understand the role of ethics in health care and legal decision-making and be familiar with the main ethical frameworks and principles used in analysing conflicts and solving problems
  5. Have developed the confidence to evaluate critically the ethical concerns raised by current ART practices and the future prospects for this technology in Australia and around the world
  6. Be aware of their social and ethical responsibilities as a health care professional and with regard to patient care


Written examination (50%)
Essay (25%)
Debate (25%)

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

16h contact per week (lectures, tutorials, debates, self-directed study)