“Ethics involves questions about what's right and wrong, about good and bad, and questions of value,” says Michael Selgelid, director of Monash's Centre for Human Bioethics. He explains that bioethics is about answering these kinds of questions in the areas of healthcare, medicine and life sciences.
“We are in the middle of a revolution in life sciences, which is going to affect us in lots of ways,” Professor Selgelid says. “Lots of what we are interested in is driven by advances in biosciences, particularly advances in genetics and biotechnology. It makes a whole lot of different things possible.”
Students undertaking Bioethics will need to do four units – including two in the first year – to qualify for a bioethics minor, which, from 2014, will be available at Monash's Caulfield and also Clayton campuses.
Courses on offer range from Bioethics: Current Controversies and Bioethics: Biotechnology, Justice and the Law, to the Human Body and the International Marketplace, where students will delve into subjects ranging from patenting genes to the international trade in organs.