Current Issues in Health Ethics

Subject 505-507 (2009)

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

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
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: One 2-hour lecture per week.
Total Time Commitment: In addition to the stated contact hours, students are expected to spend at least 2-3 hours of study for each hour of contact.
Prerequisites: None
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:


Dr Alison Brookes


Centre for Health and Society

School of Population Health

Subject Overview:

The subject will involve the identification and exploration of theoretical and philosophical frameworks of participants in debates, resolutions/outcomes, and investigation of alternative positions. Possible topics include allocation of resources, access to health care, euthanasia, stem-cell research and commercial interests in pharmaceutical research and production.

Objectives: On completion of this subject students should:
  • Have gained an understanding of the application of theory in applied ethics
  • Be able to identify ethical issues in current events in health practice, health policy, health research, and the development and implementation of technology
  • Have developed skills in philosophical argument to engage with differing positions within health ethics debates
  • Be able to critically analyse contributions to public and academic debates within health ethics

Oral presentation and written paper on selected topic totalling 2,000 words, due mid semester (40%); written discussion paper, totalling 3, 000 words due at end of semester (60%).

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Oral and written communication
  • Synthesising material and presenting it in oral and written form
  • Ability to interpret ethical arguments from public and academic realms
  • Familiarity with key ethical theories
  • Critical thinking skills to evaluate ethical arguments
  • Generate and articulate commentaries on relevant issues
  • Critical evaluation of ethical implications of current issues in health ethics

Links to further information:

This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.

Related Course(s): Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics
Master of Public Health
Master of Social Health (Aboriginal Health)
Master of Social Health (Health Ethics)
Master of Social Health (Health Policy)
Master of Social Health (Interdisciplinary)
Master of Social Health (Medical Anthropology)

Download PDF version.