Bioethics and Healthcare Ethics


Rev. Dr Hoa Trung Dinh SJ Semester 1, 2020
Wednesday 10.00am – 1.00pm
Semester 2, 2020
Thursday 6.00pm – 9.00pm

This unit examines the biblical perspective on the value of human life and health care, considers the basic principles of Christian health ethics, the primacy of the person and the duty of reasonable care at every stage of human life, and moral principles relevant to the identity of Catholic hospitals. Topics covered include abortion, euthanasia, the withholding of treatment, HIV/AIDS, rape, the anencephalic foetus, transplants of donated organs, human research, the allocation of scarce resources, triage and other issues raised by the environment, and modern medical technology: prenatal diagnosis, treatments for infertility, reproductive technology and embryonic stem cell research.

Census Date

  • Semester 1: Tuesday 17 March
  • Semester 2: Tuesday 18 August



face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


second level
  • one 2,000-word essay 40%
  • one 2-hour examination (1,000 words) 60%
third level
  • one 3,000-word essay 50%
  • one 2-hour examination (1,000 words) 50%

Set Text Recommended for Purchase

Shannon, Thomas, and Nicholas Kochler. An Introduction to Bioethics. 4th ed. New York: Paulist, 2009.


  • Ashley, Benedict M., Jean de Blois, and Kevin D. O’Rourke. Health Care Ethics: A Theological Analysis. 5th ed. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2006.
  • Beauchamp, Tom L. and James F. Childress. Principles of Biomedical Ethics. 7th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Catholic Health Australia. Code of Ethical Standards for Catholic Health and Aged Care Services in Australia. Red Hill: Catholic Health Australia, 2001.
  • Fisher, Anthony. Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Ford, Norman. The Prenatal Person: Ethics from Conception to Birth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.
  • Gill, Robin. Health Care and Christian Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Morrison, Eileen E., ed. Healthcare Ethics: Critical Issues for the Twenty-First Century. 2nd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2009.
  • O’Rourke, Kevin D., and Philip J. Boyle. Medical Ethics: Source of Catholic Teaching. 4th ed. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2011.