About

The Monash Bioethics Centre addresses core ethical questions that arise in healthcare, science and technology to shape the social world in years to come. The core vision of the Centre is to contribute to creating a more ethical society, in which the potential of systems, technologies and policy is harnessed to promote health, wellbeing, and equity for all. Established in 1980 by Professor Peter Singer as Australia's first research centre devoted to bioethics (then named the Centre for Human Bioethics), it has developed into an international leader in the field.

We undertake groundbreaking research that influences policy and regulation, and has impact within delivery systems for health and wellbeing. Our research informs international and national scholarly debate, policy development and implementation and public understanding of the ethical dimensions of health, technology and society.

In education, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, we strive to build the next generation of thought leaders in ethics through up to date curricula delivered in ways that integrate innovative teaching modes and technologies.

In ethics leadership, we strive for community engagement to shape public debate on contemporary challenges, provide upskilling opportunities for current and future professionals in relevant areas and increase ethics literacy across society. The status of the Centre as a WHO Collaborating Centre is a central aspect of our national and international engagement.

Catherine MillsFrom the Director, Catherine Mills:

In the contemporary world of global health crises, rapid technological development and international biotech markets, bioethics has never been more relevant or necessary. Bioethics helps understand how best to respond to diverse health needs to ensure a more equitable and ethical world for everyone.

Studying with us may help launch your career in this dynamic field. Our experts can also help to address the ethical, social and policy challenges that different institutions face in providing high quality healthcare. As Australia’s leading centre for bioethics research, the Monash Bioethics Centre makes a difference.

Centre History

Established in 1980, the Centre quickly became known for its practical and secular approach to bioethics. The Centre’s founder, Peter Singer and colleague Helga Kuhse drew on empirical research to challenge aspects of existing medical practice and familiar assumptions in debates about reproduction. Projects on the ethics of IVF and embryo research, in the context of groundbreaking work by Monash IVF researchers, resulted in some of the first published work on these topics. Singer and Kuhse also developed influential critiques of a reliance on sanctity-of-human-life views by health professionals and lawmakers in justifying medical decisions at the beginning and end of life.

Since 1981 the Centre has also been producing the quarterly journal Monash Bioethics Review (originally titled Bioethics News), the first peer reviewed bioethics journal based in Australia, and one of the world’s oldest bioethics journals.

In 1989 the Centre developed one of the world’s first Master of Bioethics programs, which has produced hundreds of graduates, and many of the Centre’s doctoral and Masters graduates have become highly successful bioethicists in their own right.

Today, the Centre hosts a thriving community of student and academic researchers, who engage in scholarly, public and policy debates around core and cutting edge issues in biomedicine, technology and healthcare ethics.