In this section
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:
The Children’s Bioethics
Centre's Ethics for Clinical Practice (ECP) Program is back in 2024,
but for the first time (excitingly!) we are opening to a mixed nursing/allied
health/medical group. Registrations are now open through the Paediatric Academy:
Ethics for Clinical
Practice (ECP) Program | Events | The University of Melbourne (unimelb.edu.au)
The course consists of 3 full
study days over 6 weeks and participants must be able to attend all days. The
dates for 2024 are:
Learn more about the four main areas of activity of The Children’s Bioethics Centre:
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
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'