The Children’s Bioethics Centre provides the
Clinical Ethics Service for The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) campus. The service advises and supports hospital staff work through complex decision-making, often in emotionally fraught situations. Our ethics case consultation process provides an open, collaborative space to discuss ethical considerations and come to an ethically appropriate and mutually agreed plan. The types of referrals include: parents refusing medically recommended treatment for their child, clinicians contemplating offering experimental or non-standard interventions, and children or adolescents refusing investigations or medical treatment.
We work together with staff, using established ethical principles in a multi-disciplinary forum that emphasises openness, respect and collaboration, to address some of the really difficult questions arising in clinical care. This process provides ethically sound options for patient care and may alleviate moral distress for all concerned. Our process has become a benchmark in the child and family-centred care provided at the RCH.
The Children's Bioethics Centre also provides:
- tailored and responsive education and training programs embedded in the hospital structure
- ethical policy
advice and guidance to the RCH executive, peak health professional bodies and government, both state and federal
- a dynamic research program that is practice-based, collaborative and translational. It aims to undertake research which will be useful in the clinical setting.
Ethics for Clinical Practice (ECP) Program, 2023- Nursing REGISTER NOW
Increase your confidence and engagement in clinical ethics discussions with a new and innovative clinical ethics program specifically designed for Nurses at RCH.
Run over 3 Thursdays; 5th Oct, 19th Oct, 9th Nov. Applications close; 18th June, 2023. Expressions of Interest here.
Learn more about the four main areas of activity of The Children’s Bioethics Centre:
Essential Ethics podcast series
The CBC have produced numerous podcasts: The Ethics Toolkit (6 episodes), Classic Conundrums (5 episodes), Special COVID-19 Pandemic Ethics in a Children's Hospital (3 episodes) and past Conferences. All are available at
Paediatric Ethics: applying ethics into your clinical practice eLearn
Please click to access the eLearn
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020 the CBC prepared a special
COVID-19 briefing paper 'Balancing protection of staff with optimising patient care'