Issues in Bioethics

Subject PHIL90025 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2 hour seminar each week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

approximately 10 hours each week.


Admission into 102EU Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics or MC-EMA Executive master of Arts or 344AB Master of Public Policy and Management or Masters by Coursework programme at the University of Melbourne with coordinator approval. Exceptions may be made for students at honours level, who may enrol with the approval of both their discipline coordinator and the subject coordinator.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request 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:


Dr Francesca Minerva


Dr Alberto Giubilini


Subject Overview:

This subject explores ethical issues raised by current practices in medicine and by future developments in biotechnology and genetics. Among the issues that will be investigated are: controversial choices in medicine; abortion; euthanasia, assisted suicide and infanticide; in vitro fertilisation; preimplantation and prenatal genetic selection; life extension and cryonics; human enhancement; conscientious objection in the medical context; and human cloning.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have developed a deeper philosophical and ethical understanding of a range of contentious issues in contemporary bioethics
  • be motivated to draw connections between the philosophical and ethical dimensions of those issues and other issues in their personal and professional lives

One 5,000 word essay due at the end of semester (100%).

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. Regular participation in class is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A booklet of readings will be available at the beginning of the semester

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have an improved capacity to integrate moral and conceptual considerations with relevant empirical data
  • have an increased capacity to comprehend and evaluate complex argumentative texts
  • have refined their skills for writing about complex ethical issues
  • have refined the skills needed for research by developing their capacity to think imaginatively and critically about important ethical and social issues
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Ethics
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Ethics
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics
200 points Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics

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