THE302: Bioethics and the Catholic Tradition


THE302: Bioethics and the Catholic Tradition

Key details

Accredited towardsBachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts
Unit typeElective unit
Credit points6
Indicative contact hours3 hours per week
Offered inSemester 2
Tuition feeLearn more



Bioethics is an interdisciplinary study, relying on knowledge of, and the interaction between, human biology, medicine, moral philosophy and – in the context of a Catholic college-moral – theology. The purpose of this unit is to provide an interdisciplinary account of the ethical issues at stake where medical science and technology impact upon human beings and human society as a whole. This unit will further develop students’ understanding of the variety of ethical approaches on offer, building upon earlier subjects in theology, philosophy and science.

More specifically the content examines a range of contemporary ethical issues including: the dignity of the human person and the notion of fundamental human rights; the anthropological and ethical issues involved with genetic engineering, gene therapies, genetic testing, human reproductive technologies and surrogacy; theories of human personhood and their application to humans with disabilities and those at the beginning and end of life; the Hippocratic tradition in medicine; human embryo experimentation; asexual reproduction; cloning and experimentation on human beings; euthanasia, organ transplantation, xenotransplantation and human-animal transgenesis; stem cell technology; and public policy, personal autonomy and choice in decision making.


Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit of study, students will be able to:

  1. show a detailed understanding of the plurality of approaches to bioethics.
  2. appreciate the complexity of ethical issues involved in the impact of science and technology on the human person and human society.
  3. realise a capacity for understanding the science, for identification of all the ethical issues at stake in the context of the legal and social environment within which the scientific applications occur, and for proposing an analysis which will lead to an identification of the range of possible choices which would be ethically acceptable.
  4. understand the role of prudential judgment in choosing from among the ethically acceptable choices available.



Interested in other Theology units?

THE111: Introduction to Catholic Theology
THE102: The Development of Revelation
THE201: Sacramental Theology
THE202: Fundamental Moral Theology
THE301: Theology of the Post-Conciliar Era
THE302: Bioethics and the Catholic Tradition
THE303: Moral and Sexual Integrity
THE304: Public Morality and Catholic Social Ethics



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