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PE019 - Bioethics

At the risk of cliché, ours is an uncertain and changing world, and the questions and puzzles keep coming at us. No more obviously, I suppose, than in the midst of a pandemic. Indeed, a number of those questions relate to the pandemic itself, and how we should respond to it. What ethical issues does vaccination raise—in their development, administration, distribution? How do we make those judgements locally? Globally

But there are other big questions, some of which have been circling for years. One that has landed recently in VIC, WA, TAS, QLD (and is hovering over NSW), is the legalisation of Voluntary Assisted Dying. It seems odd to many of us that laws that enable people with a terminal illness to end their lives are being brought in at a time when we’re making such a concerted effort to stop people dying (especially older and physically vulnerable people). But should it? Is VAD a dangerous innovation that threatens the fabric of our shared society and undermines the good practice of medicine? Or is it a compassionate response to the suffering of people at the end of their lives that gives them the freedom to die with dignity?

If this uncertain and changing world raises questions like these for you, then this is the perfect unit for you to enrol in and we can explore them together.

Pre/Co-requisite Units: 

Pre-requisites (all levels): 24 credit points TH/PE
Pre-requisites (level 9): the above, plus 48 credit points level 8

Unit Exclusions: 

Prior to 2020, this unit content was delivered under the unit code PE753-4/6

Full Course Unit Descriptor:

For the full Course Unit Descriptor, please see the Australian College of Theology website 

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