About the Childrens Bioethics Centre

  • 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:

    • a dynamic research program that is practice-based, collaborative and translational. It aims to undertake research which will be useful in the clinical setting. 
    • 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

    Learn more about the four main areas of activity of The Children’s Bioethics Centre: Bioethics introductory video (5 mins)

    15th National Paediatrics Bioethics Conference 

    Provisional Program available now

    15th Conference

    Ethics for Clinical Practice (ECP) Program

    The Children’s Bioethics Centre offers an intensive three-day ethics program for hospital staff. The Ethics for Clinical Practice (ECP) Program is offered to nursing, allied health and medical staff. For more information or to register your interest, contact Jenny O'Neill.

    The course consists of 3 full study days over 6 weeks and participants must be able to attend all days.

    Essential Ethics podcast series

    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 on the Essential Bioethics podcast page.