End of Life Issues

Subject POPH90259 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

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 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.




Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824
Email: sph-gradinfo@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the ethical issues that may arise at the end of life. Students will examine these in a variety of contexts, such as private homes, hospitals, hospices and residential care facilities, and consider their implications for individuals at the end of life; families and friends; clinicians and health professionals; carers; and policy makers. Examples of policy, practice and legislation from a range of countries will be used to highlight common features and diverse approaches to end of life issues.

Topics covered include diverse historical and cultural perspectives on mortality; the concept of a "good death"; deceased donation of organs and tissues; end-of life care planning and decision-making; enabling end-of-life care in the home; and clinical research in palliative care and experimental treatments.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • Recognise and explain key ethical issues in end of life care and decision making.
  • Demonstrate an informed understanding of core ethical principles and concepts including autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, human dignity and justice in the analysis of end-of-life issues.
  • Formulate reflective arguments outlining potential solutions to ethical dilemmas in end of life care or policy making.
  • Manage professional responsibilities with respect to ethical dilemmas in end of life care with confidence.

  • Weekly contributions to Online Discussions (10%)
  • A 10-minute online presentation that summarises and critically analyses a current ethical end of life issue, with structured peer review of another student's presentation due mid Semester (20%)
  • An Online exam with Multiple Choice Questions and guided ethical analysis of end-of life case studies (short answer) due mid-Semester (20%)
  • A 3,000-word assignment exploring a current ethical issue in end of life care on a topic approved by the subject coordinator due at the end of Semester (50%)
Prescribed Texts:

Students will have access to electronic copies of relevant readings.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students will be provided with the opportunity to practice and reinforce:

  • Enhanced skills in critical thinking and analysis of issues in public policy and practice from an ethical perspective.
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills.
  • Advanced skills in reasoning, persuasion and effective argumentation.
  • Ability to identify, evaluate and integrate ethical theory with empirical knowledge in public health and clinical care, policy and practice.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Ageing
Graduate Diploma in Ageing
Master of Ageing
Master of Public Health
Specialist Certificate in Ageing

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