Sydney Health Ethics


Sydney Health Ethics (previously known as the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine - VELiM) is a research and teaching centre within the School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney.

Since our establishment in 1995, we have become one of the largest bioethics centres in Australia and internationally.

Sydney Health Ethics Team


Our team includes academics, research fellows and research students working on a wide range of ethical issues. These include public health ethics, clinical ethics, research ethics, animal ethics, the ethics of biotechnology including genetic technology and genomics, and the ethics of drug policy and development.

Sydney Health Ethics also has a long history of conducting empirical social science research, often informed by and informing ethical questions. We have a thriving program of empirical and theoretical research funded by the NHMRC, ARC and other sources.

We teach two postgraduate coursework programs, Qualitative Health Research (until 2015) and Bioethics (ongoing).

Congratulations Harris Fellows 2017!

We are excited to announce this year’s Harris Fellows 2017. The Harris Fellows are funded by the Harold and Gwenneth Harris Endowment for Medical Humanities. This year’s fellowship was open to all University of Sydney students in any faculty, at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and for any project where the creative arts intersect with health and the humanities. Ten applicants from a high quality pool of 36 were awarded.

The winners of this year’s Harris Fellowship are Stephanie Mantilla (FASS), Anna Maria D’Addario (SCA), Kathryn Doherty (Nursing), Rachel Famularo (Nursing), Rachel Dubretsky (the CON), Isabel Hanson (SMS), Aran Kanagaratnam & Akhil Bansal (SMS), Kirsten Carlaw (SMS), Merrilla Babu John (SMS) and Benjamin Stewart (SMS).

Project topics ranged widely from developing a series of podcasts on ‘The Art of Medicine’ to creating a photography collection reflecting the rural nurse experience. More information about their projects will soon be available on the Sydney Health Ethics website.

The project results will be presented in a half-day symposium late in 2018.


A/Prof Ainsley Newson in the Media

A/Prof Ainsley Newson on ABC TV

On 22 November 2016, A/Prof Ainsley Newson appeared on ABC TV’s Lateline program to discuss the ethics of testing for Down syndrome. Click on the image above to access the video and transcript.


Wiser Healthcare logo

Funded by NHMRC, a group of collaborating researchers from the University of Sydney, Bond University, Monash University and international colleagues launched Wiser Healthcare, a collaboration which aims to conduct research that will reduce overdiagnosis and overtreatment in Australia and around the world.
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