Ethics of Psychiatry

Subject PSYT90023 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

May, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 13-May-2016 to 17-Jun-2016
Assessment Period End 08-Jul-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 20-May-2016
Census Date 27-May-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 17-Jun-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 6 weeks x 3.5 hour seminars
Total Time Commitment:


Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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 Overview, Objectives, 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 Mahesh Jayaram


Administrative contact:

Victoria Kingsley

Subject Overview:

This Unit will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of ethical decision-making in clinical psychiatry. Themes will extend over a wide terrain but cover ethical aspects of the psychiatrist – patient relationship, diagnosis, suicide, confidentiality, treatment in psychiatry, resource allocation and justice, child and adolescent psychiatry, psychogeriatrics and code of ethics.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To recognise the various salient concepts in moral philosophy which constitute a basis for ethical reasoning and their relationship to clinical practice
  • To identify the many ethical problems in clinical psychiatry and analyse them in a systematic way
  • To demonstrate the ability to reach balanced ethical judgments through critical appraisal of competing theories
  • To differentiate between clinical and ethical issues in the context of complex professional situations
  • To identify coping strategies in the face of anxiety regarding difficult-to-resolve ethical dilemmas in clinical psychiatry
  • To assess the value (and limitations) of codes of ethics and clinical guidelines
  • Participation in class discussions, and completion of learning activities and group exercises, throughout term (20%)
  • Written assignment of 2000 words, due within 3 weeks of teaching period end date (80%)
  • Attendance: 75% of sessions (for face-to-face students) OR 75% completion of online modules (for online students) (Hurdle requirement)
Prescribed Texts:

Psychiatric Ethics, eds S.Bloch and S. Green, 4th ed., Oxford University Press, 2006

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Psychiatry
Master of Psychiatry

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