Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine


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.

the VELiM 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.

VELiM 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).

Latest News & Events

Symposium: Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare

doctor with money pig

This symposium brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars to explore the ethical and policy implications of financial and non-financial conflicts of interest in medicine and public health. Four sessions will address conceptual and practical implications of conflicts of interest from clinical, policy, scientific and academic perspectives.

Organisers: VELiM, CAVE (Macquarie University), and the Bias and Research Integrity group (University of Sydney)
Venue: Medical Foundation Building, Camperdown NSW 2050
Date: 31 October 2016, 1-5pm
Attendance is free but registration required via Eventbrite. For more information download the event flier.

Tuberculosis: Ethics, Law & Society

This workshop will explore Tuberculosis from many different perspectives, including ethics, law, human rights, sociology, history and anthropology. Speakers will discuss aspects of their own research and how these are of key relevance to thinking about Tuberculosis today and in the future.
Confirmed speakers: Dr Chris Degeling, Dr Bridget Haire, Dr Susan Hemer, Dr Paul Mason, Nola Ries, A/Prof Diego Silva and Prof Ross Upshur.

Organisers: Prof Angus Dawson and Kelly Prendergast
Venue: Centenary Institute, Missenden Road, Sydney
Date: 18 October 2016, 9am to 5pm
Attendance is free but registration required via Eventbrite.

PhD Scholarship Opportunity at VELiM

PhD graduate with thumbs up

Sarah Cady, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This scholarship is associated with the NHMRC-funded Centre for Research Excellence Creating sustainable health care: ensuring new diagnostics avoid harms, improve outcomes and direct resources wisely. The successful candidate will develop actionable strategies to better identify and control potentially harmful diagnostic technologies. The PhD research will be completed by publication and will contribute to and be part of Wiser Healthcare, a new national multi-centre research collaboration investigating overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
For more information on this opportunity including selection criteria and application guidelines, please visit Research Scholarships. Closing date: 30 September 2016

Latest Publications

(VELiM authors in bold)

Lipworth, W., Mayes, C., Kerridge, I., Health professionals as vendors: the commercial erosion of evidence and ethics, Croakey, 12 September 2016

Hooker C, Degeling C, Mason P. Dying a natural death: Ethics and political activism for endemic infectious disease. In: Endemic: Essays in Contagion Theory. Lorenzo Servitje and Kari Nixon (eds). London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2 Sept 2016.


Human Genome Project Failure (FTF Films), FAIR USE (U.S. Copyright Act 1976)

Newson, A. J., S. J. Leonard, A. Hall and C. L. Gaff (2016). Known unknowns: building an ethics of uncertainty into genomic medicine. BMC Medical Genomics 9(1): 1-8. Published online 1 Sept 2016.

Berger I. & Mooney-Somers, J. Smoking Cessation Programs for LGBTI People: A Content-Based Systematic Review. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw216. Published online 31/8/16.

Wortley, S., J. Street, W. Lipworth, K. Howard, H. Dickinson and S. Robinson (2016). What factors determine the choice of public engagement undertaken by health technology assessment decision-making organizations? Journal of Health Organization and Management 30(6).

Jensen, C., B. Partridge, C. Forlini, W. Hall and J. Lucke (2016). Cognitive Enhancement Down-Under. In: Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives, edited by Fabrice Jotterand, Veljko Dubljevic (pp. 147-158). July 2016

Degeling C., Carter SM., Rychetnik L., All care, but whose responsibility? Community juries reason about expert and patient responsibilities in prostate-specific antigen screening for prostate cancer, Health, Published online 3 August 2016.

☛ Visit the OPEN-ACCESS COLLECTION of VELiM Publications.