Subject XNTS70035 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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

Melbourne Students will normally take this subject on-line

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar at ANU each week or online
Total Time Commitment: An average of 10 hours each week.
Prerequisites: Enrolment in the MA(Professional and Applied Ethics), the Post graduate certificate in Professional Ethics or the Post-Graduate Diploma in Professional Ethics or with permission of the coordinator.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Knowledge gained in a 3 year undergraduate degree or equivalent.
Non Allowed Subjects: This subject was previously offered under the code 922-509. Students who have completed 922-509 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


For ANU enrolments please contact the Arts and Music student centre with regards to Cross Insitutional arrangements. Arts & Music Student Centre

Dr Michael Selgelid

Andrew Alexandra

Subject Overview: This course provides broad coverage of the discipline of bioethics. Following historical introduction to bioethics and an introduction to the primary philosophical/ethical approaches to bioethical questions, the course is divided into three main parts. Part I examines traditional topics of bioethics: the relationship between health professionals and patients, clinical research ethics, and the ethics of ending lives (i.e. abortion and euthanasia). Part II explores current controversies surrounding rapidly advancing biological and medical science and technology: cloning and stem cell research, human enhancement, and the dual-use dilemma. Part III examines public health ethics- which is a new and rapidly growing sub-discipline of bioethics. We here consider a relevant recent major debate about international research ethics, ethical issues associated with emerging infectious diseases, and controversy surrounding the patenting of pharmaceuticals.

When successfully completed, students will have developed a good theoretical understanding both of central and current issues in bioethics and of some key philosophical issues of importance to applied ethics more generally.

Assessment: Indicative Assessment: 2,000 word essay (35%), 3,000 word essay (55%) and class/online participation (10%).
Prescribed Texts: All students are required to read the Lecture Notes and the Required Reading for each week's topic- as indicated in the Course Outline. Almost all Required Readings will be available on Electronic Reserve at the University library. In other (highly unusual) cases, the readings will made electronically available by the course convener in some other way (usually via the Resources link on Alliance) and details will be announced.

Electronic reserve readings can be found here.

Recommended Texts: Additional Recommended Readings have been suggested for most topics- these are optional. Such readings may or may not be placed on electronic reserve- but, especially in the case of journal articles, you will often still be able to find them online via the library (i.e., in cases where the library subscribes to the journal). You can search for journals electronically available from the ANU library here (where it says "Full text e-journals").
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Notes: In addition to reading, students will participate in (online and/or face-to-face) class discussion and write two papers (totalling 5000 words in length).
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Ethics
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Ethics

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