Bioethics

Unit of study descriptions for 2015

BETH5000 Critical Concepts in Bioethics

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Robert Irvine Session: Semester 2 Classes: 13x2hr seminars or Distance Education (online). Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in face-to-face mode. Assessment: 1x 750wd review (15%) and 1x 1500wd essay (30%) and 1x 2000-2500wd essay (45%) and 1x online work/class participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
This unit of study offers a critical review of the field of bioethics. The course canvasses different ways that bioethics is 'made-up' in discourse, thought and practice, and the meaning of 'bioethics' historically and in contemporary society. Mapping some of the key literature on current on-going debates and contentions, the seminars explore different perspectives that people have of bioethics from points within and outside of the discipline and why bioethics and bioethical dilemmas have become important objects of popular and professional concern. Topics include the moral and ethical dimensions of advances in biomedical science and biotechnology, the virtuous bioethicist, narrative in bioethics, going public in bioethics, bioethics across cultures, feminist bioethics, bioethics and non-human animals, and, environmental bioethics in the clinic and public. Learning activities will include seminars and small group discussion.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
Students are provided with a book of readings (in digital format). Supplementary readings can be accessed through the library or online.
BETH5101 Introduction to Ethical Reasoning

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Ian Keridge Session: Semester 1 Classes: 13x2hr seminars or Distance Education (online). Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in face-to-face mode. Assessment: 1x 2000wd essay (35%); 1x 4000wd essay (55%); participation in seminars or online (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
In this unit of study students gain the background in ethical philosophy necessary to engage in advanced analyses of issues in bioethics. Introduction to Ethical Reasoning familiarises students with classical theoretical frameworks such as virtue ethics, Kantian deontology, and utilitarianism that have been influential in the history of Western philosophy. The unit also examines more contemporary approaches to ethics, such as the capabilities approach, feminist ethics, human rights doctrines, and poststructuralist approaches. Across these different theoretical frameworks, discussions will focus on topics such as cultural relativism, universalism in ethics, difference and power.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
Students are provided with a book of readings (in digital format). Supplementary readings can be accessed through the library or online.
BETH5102 Philosophy of Medicine

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Christopher Jordens Session: Semester 1 Classes: 12x2hr seminars or online. Assessment: 1x1200wd short written exercise (30%); 1x3000-4000wd major essay (60%); participation in seminars or online (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: If an insufficient number of students opt to attend seminars on campus, the co-ordinator may choose to teach this Unit of Study in online mode only. Students will be contacted if this occurs.
This unit of study introduces some key philosophical questions and debates concerning medicine and the biomedical sciences. It is divided into three sections. The first explores key concepts and distinctions such as health, disease, mental illness and disability. The second section deals with topics that lie at the heart of a scientific approach to medicine, namely, causation, experimentation, evidence and clinical reasoning. The final section of the course invites students to reflect critically on the preceding section by exploring the rationality claims of non-orthodox approaches, by inquiring closely into the meaning of medical terms, and by taking a broad view of the notion of risk.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
Required readings are available through the unit of study website. Supplementary readings can be accessed through the university library.
BETH5103 Biomedicine and Society

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Christopher Jordens Session: Semester 2 Classes: 13x2hr seminars or online. Assessment: 1x1200wd exercise (30%); 1x3000-4000wd essay (60%); Participation in seminars or online (10%) Mode of delivery: Online
Note: If an insufficient number of students opt to attend seminars on campus, the co-ordinator may choose to teach this Unit of Study in online mode only. Students will be contacted if this occurs.
How does biomedicine both influence and reflect the broader society of which it is a part? This unit of study addresses this general question by examining a set of issues relating to sex and drugs. A key theme in the course is the "medicalisation" of human experience in the domains of gender, reproduction and sexual behaviour. The course aims to widen the scope of bioethical inquiry through readings that explore the issues from a range of different perspectives including history, sociology, politics, health policy, philosophy, religion, feminism, public health, and personal experience. Each topic introduces specific concepts which students are encouraged to apply. Students are also encouraged to draw on their own disciplinary and/or professional background. Seminars, online discussions and coursework will provide opportunities to learn from other students, and apply learning from other units of study in bioethics.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
Required readings are available through the unit of study website. Supplementary readings can be accessed through the university library.
BETH5104 Bioethics, Law and Society

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Sascha Callaghan Session: Semester 1 Classes: 4x8hr intensives or online. Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in face-to-face block mode. Assessment: 1x2000wd problem (40%); 1x3500 word essay (60%) Mode of delivery: Online
Note: A three-year undergraduate degree in science, medicine, nursing, allied health sciences, philosophy/ethics, sociology/anthropology, law, history, or other relevant field, or by special permission
This unit of study begins by introducing students to intersections amongst health care, ethics, and the law. In particular students will explore the moral basis of law and the means by which law influences moral norms, clinical practice, and health policy. Students learn how to critically read and analyse primary sources of law relevant to bioethics. Students will then examine a number of areas of law that have particular significance for bioethics and society including consent, tort law, competence, advance directives, maternal-foetal conflicts, abortion, reproduction, end-of-life-decision-making, genetics and infectious disease.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
Required: Kerridge, Lowe and Stewart (2013), Ethics and law for the health profession, 4th Edition (Federation Press). All other compulsory readings are provided to students in digital format. Most supplementary readings can be accessed through the library collection.
BETH5201 Ethics and Biotechnology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ainsley Newson Session: Semester 1 Classes: 6x2hr seminars & 1x8hr intensive; or Distance Education (online). Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in face-to-face mode. Assessment: 2x400wd tasks (2x10%); 1x1500wd essay (30%); 1x2500wd essay (40%); participation in seminars or online (10%) Mode of delivery: Online
Note: If an insufficient number of students opt to attend seminars on campus, the co-ordinator may choose to teach this Unit of Study in online mode only.
This unit of study introduces students to the ethical, social and legal issues that underlie a wide range of biotechnologies, including: genetics, genomics, human reproduction, stem cell research, nanotechnology and emerging biotechnologies. Key concepts influencing debates in this area are covered, such as 'procreative beneficence', personhood, risk, consent, public engagement, and property in the body (including gene patenting). Topical case studies are included to keep up with recent developments in the field. Students will explore the ethical limits to research and knowledge.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
All readings are accessed online via elearning.
BETH5202 Human and Animal Research Ethics

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ainsley Newson Session: Semester 2 Classes: 4x8hr intensive or Distance Education (online). Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in face-to-face mode. Prerequisites: Prohibition: BETH5208 Assessment: Continuous assessment (short weekly tasks) (10%); `Best 3¿ short weekly tasks (10%); 1x1500wd briefing paper (30%); 1x2500wd essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study critically examines research ethics in its wider context, from structuring research to its dissemination. It explores the ethical underpinnings of research in humans and non-human animals including the justifications for engaging in research, key concepts in research ethics and research integrity. The unit also reviews the history of research and the impact of research abuse on participants, both human and animal.Participants are also encouraged to develop practical skills in relation to their own research.
Textbooks
All readings are made available via elearning.
BETH5203 Ethics and Public Health

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Professor Stacy Carter Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5x8hr Intensives; or Distance Education (online). Prerequisites: A three-year undergraduate degree in science; medicine; nursing; allied health sciences; philosophy/ethics; sociology/anthropology; history; or other relevant field; or by special permission. Prohibitions: BETH5206 Assessment: 5xOnline Quiz (50%); 1x2500wd essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Online
This unit provides students with an overview of the ethical and political issues that underlie public health and public health research. The unit introduces key concepts in public health ethics including liberty, utility, justice, solidarity and reciprocity, and introduces students to different ways of reasoning about the ethics of public health. A critical history of public health and an examination of public health law provide important context. Students also explore the ethical dimensions of central public health problems, including modifying lifestyles, managing communicable diseases, researching communities, responding to global health challenges and using evidence. Throughout, the emphasis is on learning to make sound arguments about the ethical aspects of public health policy, practice and research. Most learning occurs in the context of five teaching intensives, which are highly interactive and focus on the development and application of reasoning skills.
Textbooks
Students are provided with a book of readings (in digital format).
BETH5204 Clinical Ethics

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ainsley Newson Session: Semester 1 Classes: 4x8hr Intensives or Distance Education (online). Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in face-to-face mode. Assessment: 1x1500wd case study (30%); 1x2500wd essay (50%); continuous assessment (short weekly tasks) (10%); `Best 3¿ short weekly tasks (10%). Mode of delivery: Online
This unit will provide students with an overview of the ethical issues that underlie the delivery of healthcare. Students will explore major conceptual models for ethical reasoning in the clinical context; key ethical concepts in the clinical encounter (such as consent, professionalism and confidentiality); major contexts in which ethical issues arise in clinical practice; and the design and delivery of clinical ethics consultation. The unit will also consider specific issues and populations within clinical practice, such as the care of vulnerable populations . Learning activities will include lectures (in an intensive format), facilitated discussion, case study activities, readings and weekly discussions.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
All readings are accessed online via elearning.
BETH5205 Ethics and Mental Health

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Professor Michael Robertson Session: Semester 2 Classes: 3x8hr Intensives or Distance Education (online). Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in face-to-face mode. Assessment: 1x1500wd essay (30%); 1x4000wd essay (50%); participation in seminars or online (20%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Mental health and mental illness are unique in the field of health care and bioethics. The very nature of psychiatric disorder and its relationship with prevailing social and cultural factors, in addition to the unique status of the mental health patient, necessitate a specific discourse in biomedical ethics in the area of mental health. This course will provide participants with a broad perspective of issues in bioethics applied to mental health and mental illness. Students will examine the history of the psychiatric profession and consider the adequacy of current safeguards against the abuses of power seen in the history of psychiatry. Other areas considered in the course include the current ethical dilemmas in mental health care, the implications of technological advances in the neurosciences, the philosophical basis of the concept of mental disorder, the relationship between power and the psychiatric profession and the complex relationship between morality, mental health and the law. The course aspires to inform future decision makers in health, public policy, clinical settings and academia in the unique aspects of biomedical ethics in the field of mental health.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
Robertson M and Walter G Ethics and Mental Health: The Patient, Profession and Community (2013) London CRC Press
BETH5206 Introduction to Public Health Ethics

Credit points: 2 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Professor Stacy Carter Session: Semester 2a Classes: 2x8hr intensives; or Distance Education (online). Prohibitions: BETH5203 Assessment: 2xOnline Quiz (40%); 1x1500wd essay (60%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma or Master of Public Health may choose to take BETH5203 (6CP) instead of BETH5206 (2CP).
This unit provides students with an introduction to the ethical and political issues that underlie public health and public health research. The unit introduces key concepts in public health ethics including liberty, utility, justice, solidarity and reciprocity, and introduces students to different ways of reasoning about the ethics of public health. Most learning occurs in the context of two teaching intensives, which are highly interactive and focus on the development and application of reasoning skills.
By the end of the Unit you will be able to identify the values and ideas upon which public health rests and ready to start thinking proactively about the ethical issues raised by public health interventions and health policy. This is a Core Unit for Graduate Diploma and Master in Public Health students.
Textbooks
Students are provided with a book of readings (in digital format). Most supplementary readings can be accessed through the library or online.
BETH5207 Arts in Health

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Claire Hooker Session: Semester 2 Classes: Block mode, 2x2 days (4 hour combined lectures/tutorials) Assessment: 2x300-400wd online tasks (25%), 1x1,500wd essay (25%), 1x2,500wd essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The 'art of health' is more than an historic catchphrase; it is a literal phenomenon. Arts based approaches to health promotion, social determinants of health and to a range of health issues (including mental health, dementia and aging, disability, childhood development and cancer) can have stunningly powerful effects. In the past century the visual, literary and performing arts have emerged as vital components of a community based approach to human health and wellbeing. This unit gives students practical examples of how to incorporate the arts into public health and health care. The course offers a rich and detailed exploration of varying debates in the scholarly and practice-based fields of arts-and-health, which include but are not limited to: status and uses of art therapy; music and medicine; narrative, literature and the 'narrative medicine' movement; hospital art, design and architecture; and the role of art in health research and social marketing campaigns. Students will learn design thinking as a crucial skill in creative problem solving and social innovation, the new approaches taken up to meet the demands of difficult and rapidly shifting social circumstances. In addition to refining skills, this unit requires that students come to grips with the affective and experiential elements of health. This course will appeal to students of public health; literary, visual and performing arts; social work; psychology; and related disciplines, who want to understand more about the interconnectedness of the arts with human health.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
None specified
BETH5208 Introduction to Human Research Ethics

Credit points: 2 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ainsley Newson Session: Semester 2a Classes: Block mode (1.5 days) and online Prohibitions: BETH5202 Assessment: 1x1500wd essay (80%); 1x 300wd task (10%); participation in class/online (10%) Mode of delivery: Online
This unit of study introduces students to human research ethics in its wider context. It explores the ethical underpinnings of the research endeavour including the justifications for engaging in research and research integrity. The unit also reviews the history of research and the impact of research abuse on human participants. Participants are also encouraged to develop practical skills in relation to their own research.
Textbooks
All readings are accessed online via elearning.
BETH5301 Research Project A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ainsley Newson Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Regular consultation with supervisor. Prerequisites: Credit average (or higher) in 24 credit points of BETH units of study. Corequisites: BETH5302 Assessment: Research treatise (15,000 words) Mode of delivery: Supervision
This unit must be taken in conjunction with BETH5302 (Research Project B). These units are available only to students admitted to the Master of Bioethics Research pathway. The Research Project (i.e. parts A and B combined) provides opportunity for research and in-depth learning in a bioethics topic of special interest or importance to the student. Successful completion of the project may also provide students with the research experience required for the pursuit of a higher degree. This unit involves independent research and regular meetings with a supervisor. In the process of completing the Research Project (i.e. parts A and B combined), students will produce an original 15,000 word treatise. Choice of topic depends on the availability of an appropriate supervisor. It is recommended, but not required, that BETH5301 and BETH5302 are taken in consecutive separate semesters, rather than concurrently. A mark for both BETH5301 and BETH5302 combined is provided at the completion of BETH5302. It is possible to take these units in distance mode.
BETH5302 Research Project B

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ainsley Newson Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Regular consultation with supervisor Prerequisites: Credit average (or higher) in 24 credit points of BETH units of study. Corequisites: BETH5301 Assessment: Research treatise (15,000 words) Mode of delivery: Supervision
This unit must be taken in conjunction with BETH5301 (Research Project A). These units are available only to students admitted to the Master of Bioethics Research pathway. The Research Project (i.e. parts A and B combined) provides opportunity for research and in-depth learning in a bioethics topic of special interest or importance to the student. Successful completion of the project may also provide students with the research experience required for the pursuit of a higher degree. This unit involves independent research and regular meetings with a supervisor. In the process of completing the Research Project (i.e. parts A and B combined), students will produce an original 15,000 word treatise. Choice of topic depends on the availability of an appropriate supervisor. It is recommended, but not required, that BETH5301 and BETH5302 are taken in consecutive semesters, rather than concurrently. A mark for both BETH5301 and BETH5302 combined is provided at the completion of BETH5302. It is possible to take these units in distance mode.
MMHU6902 Independent Study

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1hr/week supervision Assessment: 1x4000-5000wd research essay; 2x750wd pass/fail exercises Mode of delivery: Supervision
This unit will provide an opportunity for approved candidates to pursue an extended project under supervision. Students will be expected to discuss and plan the project with their supervisor, then submit drafted material to an agreed timetable, and to discuss this drafted material with their supervisor before submitting a final draft.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Textbooks
A course reader will be supplied
MMHU6910 Ethics, Narrative Competence and Health

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Claire Hooker Session: Semester 1 Classes: 13 x 2hr seminar or Distance Education (online). Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in face-to-face mode. Assessment: 1x500-1000wd online task (10%); 1x1,500wd essay (30%); 1x3000wd essay (50%); 1 oral presentation or equivalent online task (10%) Mode of delivery: Online
This unit of study explores the connections between narrative, literature, ethics and health and medicine. Students will be introduced to the fundamental importance of narrative competence for health professionals and to tools for developing narrative competence. We will consider a range of ethical issues arising from narrative and literature in health and medicine, including differences between how patients/ the public and health professionals/ clinicians understand and value health and illness, and how to incorporate issues around identity, existence and values into public health and medicine. Students will also be given new analytic tools from the humanities for use in health-related settings. It will introduce students to influential theories of narrative and modes of cultural, literary and linguistic analysis that can further enrich our understandings of these texts. Students will encounter and analyse a wide range of literary and non-literary narratives concerned with illness, embodiment and healing. Topics or themes covered during the course include: narrative theory (narratology); narrative competence; literary/cultural representations of health practitioners; rhetoric (semiotics) of health; literary/cultural constructions of disability and femininity; narrative ethics; language and embodiment; medico-literary 'genres; narrating death and dying; and the limits of narrative.
All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
PUBH5422 Health and Risk Communication

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Julie Leask, Professor Phyllis Butow, Dr Claire Hooker Session: Semester 2 Classes: Block / intensive - 5 days Monday - Friday Assessment: Assignment 1 x 3000 word (55%), Assignment 2 x 2000 words (35%), Pre-block online activities (10%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
In this unit, students will develop a critical awareness of the determinants of effective communication, particularly in relation to health risks to the individual and to society.
The first half covers individual health risk communication in clinical settings, including: theories of health communication, patient centred care and shared decision making; evidence-based communication skills; research paradigms including interaction analysis; cross-cultural communication in health care; discussing prognosis and informed consent. The second half explores risk communication for public health. We teach theories of risk perception and communication with particular application to public health incident responses. We give practical guides to media messages, risk message framing, public engagement using traditional and social media, and the ethical aspects of public communication. The unit offers students the opportunity to learn from outstanding guest lecturers who work in these areas and interactive opportunities for students to try their skills in risk communication and decision making.
Textbooks
Readings will be provided
PUBH5500 Advanced Qualitative Health Research

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Julie Mooney-Somers Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2x3 full day workshop in March/April Prohibitions: QUAL5005 Assessment: interviewing activity with 600wd reflection (35%); 2500wd essay (35%); multiple choice quizzes (2x10%); in-class participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study provides a comprehensive introduction to qualitative inquiry in health. It is designed for beginners and people who want an advanced-level introduction. Workshop One addresses: What is qualitative research? How is it different from quantitative research? What is its history? What research questions can it answer? How can I search for qualitative literature? How do I design a qualitative study? What are the different (and best) ways to generate data? You will get practical experience and skills through carrying out an observation, participating in a focus group and conducting an interview. Workshop Two addresses: How do you analyse qualitative data? Is methodology different to method? What are ontology and epistemology? What is reflexivity (and aren't qualitative researchers biased)? What are the ethical issues? How are methodologies and theories used in qualitative research? What is good quality qualitative research? Can I generalise qualitative findings? You will get practical experience and skills through analysing your own interview data, arguing for qualitative research in health, and appraising the quality of published literature. In both workshops you will meet working qualitative researchers and hear about their projects. This advanced unit will show you a new way of thinking critically about research and researching, and give you the skills and confidence to begin evaluating and doing qualitative research for yourself.
QUAL5005 Introducing Qualitative Health Research

Credit points: 4 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Julie Mooney-Somers Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2x2 full day workshop (block mode) OR weekly online lectures and activities for 10 weeks (distance) Prohibitions: PUBH5500 Assessment: interviewing activity with 600wd reflection (45%); 1500-word essay (40%); online or in class participation (15%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: This Unit is primarily aimed at Master of Public Health (MPH) students. Other students are encouraged to consider PUBH5500 instead of this Unit. MPH students who complete PUBH5500 can apply for a waiver for QUAL5005
Introducing Qualitative Health Research is perfect if you're a beginner and want to gain an overview of this research approach. Over the course of the unit we will address: What is qualitative research? How is it different from quantitative research? What is its history? What research questions can it answer? How do I design a qualitative study? What are the different (and best) ways to generate data? How do you analyse qualitative data? How are theories used in qualitative research? What is good quality qualitative research? Can I generalise qualitative findings? You will get practical experience and skills through carrying out an observation, participating in a focus group, conducting an interview, analysing your own interview data, arguing for qualitative research in health, and appraising the quality of published literature. You will also meet working qualitative researchers and hear about their projects. This introductory Unit will give you the skills and confidence to begin evaluating qualitative literature and doing qualitative research for yourself.