Biomedical Ethics

Subject 161-024 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty-two contact hours per semester: two 1-hour lectures per week for the first 11 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week beginning the third week of semester
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week, 6 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: At least one first-year single-semester philosophy subject or permission from the Head of School or subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Neil Louis Levy


Dr Neil Levy

Subject Overview: The development and increasing prestige of modern medicine continues to generate ethical controversy. This subject will provide a way of making sense of these controversies: it will consider the nature of health, illness and disease, and discuss a number of particular issues, possibly including the status of mental illness, disability, abortion, genetic screening and modification, euthanasia and death.
Objectives: Students who sucessfully complete this subject will
  • be familiar with the philosophical debate on selected topics in biomedical ethics;
  • understand the way in which philosophical reasoning can be applied to controversies in biomedical ethics;
  • have demonstrated the ability to think and write clearly on selected topics in biomedical ethics.
Assessment: A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester), a 2-hour written examination 47% (at the end of semester) and tutorial participation 3%.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the bookshop at the start of semester.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • develop the ability to analyse and critique arguments;
  • be able to think and write rigorously, imaginatively and coherently on issues of public controversy;
  • have an appreciation of the way in which philosophical theory can inform reasoned discussion of matters of ethical importance and public controversy.
Notes: Previously available as Issues in Biomedical Ethics. Students who have completed Issues in Biomedical Ethics are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Philosophy)
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Ethics
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Ethics
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History & Philosophy of Science
History && Philosophy of Science Major
Philosophy Major
Philosophy and Social Theory

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