End of Life Issues

Subject POPH90259 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Term 3, Parkville - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start 11-Jul-2016
Teaching Period 18-Jul-2016 to 11-Sep-2016
Assessment Period End 16-Sep-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 12-Jul-2016
Census Date 05-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 26-Aug-2016


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
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.


Mr Julian Koplin




Currently enrolled students:

Future Students:

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the ethical issues that may arise at the end of life. Beginning with a multidisciplinary exploration of the concept of the end of life, students will investigate a number of longstanding as well as emerging issues that confront individuals, families, professionals and societies. Students will consider the implications of making decisions in various domains at different stages of the end of life, as well as the potential role of families, friends, carers, health professionals, lawyers, other professionals and policy makers in such decision making.

The subject will focus in particular on the role and responsibilities of professionals working with people preparing for or at the end of their lives. Topics may include historical and cultural perspectives on mortality and the end of life; justice in the distribution of resources at the end of life; the concept of a "good death" and euthanasia; determination of death and deceased donation of organs and tissues; and end-of life care planning and decision-making.

The curriculum for this subject will engage with art as a medium for reflection on ethical issues. Throughout the subject, students will explore a number of artworks independently and with their peers in exercises designed to foster skills in observation, interpretation, and analysis as well emotional engagement.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  • Recognise, explain and critically reflect on ethical issues concerned with the end of life from a variety of perspectives, and identify professional ethical responsibilities that may be relevant in the context of end of life issues.
  • Demonstrate an informed understanding of core ethical principles and concepts through exposition and application of these in the analysis of end- of-life issues.
  • Formulate reflective arguments outlining potential solutions to ethical dilemmas in the context of the end of life.
  • Identify, critically analyse, and explain ethical dilemmas that may confront professionals working with people at the end of life, and formulate solutions to these dilemmas that are well grounded in ethical arguments.

  • 1a. Contribution to small group activity with peers that involves observation, description, and analysis of ethical issues inspired by specific artworks. Weeks 2, 5 and 6 (10%)
  • 1b. Reflective blog summarizing learning from small group activity (500 words) due End of Term (10%)
  • 2. Written reflective essay discussing an ethical issue in the context of end of life (1250 words) due Mid Term (25%)
  • 3. Structured peer review of another student’s essay (250 words) due Mid Term (5%)
  • 4. Argumentative essay exploring an ethical issue for professionals working in the end-of-life (2,500 words) due at the End of Term (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 Certificate in Rehabilitation Science
Graduate Diploma in Ageing
Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Science
Master of Advanced Nursing
Master of Ageing
Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration (Enhanced)
Master of Public Health
Master of Rehabilitation Science
Specialist Certificate in Ageing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
150 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 Point Master of Public Policy and Management

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