Faculty of Arts

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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 1, 0.125 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
Organisational UnitCentre for Human Bioethics
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Justin Oakley


Previously coded CHB5255


This unit provides a framework for understanding the role and impact of law in areas of concern in bioethics. The unit focuses initially on views about what values the state ought to promote, the justifiable limits of legislative intervention, and approaches to public policy formulation in a democratic pluralist society. We then examine the current law and legal approach (particularly in Australia) to areas of bioethical concern, such as abortion, voluntary euthanasia, selective treatment of newborn infants with severe disabilities, pre-birth testing, surrogate motherhood, and the health professional-patient relationship, particularly with regard to informed consent, conflict of interest, and confidentiality.


Essay (2500 words): 60%
Take-home exam (2000 words): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Four day-long seminars during the semester, most likely in Weeks 1, 4, 7 and 10