2018 Program

The 2018 Australasian Association of Bioethics & Health Law Conference was held at Rydges in Townsville, Queensland from Saturday the 22nd to Tuesday 25th September 2018.

Saturday 22nd September 2018 | Rydges Townsville

 0800 Pre-Conference Workshop Registration Open

Clinical Ethics workshop | Portside, Rydges Townsville

This workshop is designed for those involved in the provision of clinical ethics support within organisations (such as clinical ethics committee members, clinical ethicists and clinicians).  Sessions will explore various aspects of clinical ethics support including transgender-related issues, emerging end of life concerns, and the skills for conducting effective clinical ethics case consultations.


Sunday 23rd September 2018 | Rydges Townsville

0800 Pre-Conference Workshop Registration Open
0900-1200 Student/Early Career Researcher Stream Workshop | Portside, Rydges Townsville
Morning workshop including morning tea.  Attendance at this workshop by students (delegates and non-delegates welcome) and Early Career Researchers, fully subsidised by AABHL.  Numbers are limited and registration essential. 


0900-1000 Research Ethics Stream Meeting | Poolside Boardroom
1000-1100 Health Law Group Meeting | Poolside Boardroom
1100-1700 AABHL Conference Registration Open | Conference Centre, Rydges Townsville
1130-1300 Committee Meeting | Savoy Room
Opening Plenary | Raffles Room
Chairs: Lynn Woodward & Bernadette Richards
1300-1315 Welcome to Delegates | AABHL 2018 Chair Lynn Woodward
Welcome to Country
President’s Welcome
1315-1430 Kirby Oration: Professor Anne-Maree Farrell
Regulating human tissue in Australia: Principles, institutions and politics

Professor Anne-Maree Farrell is Professor and Chair of Health Law and Society, and Director of the Centre for Health Law and Society at La Trobe University.

Sponsored by The Australian Centre for Health Law Research

1430-1500 Afternoon Tea | Foyer
Concurrent Session A
  Savoy Room
Chair: Nikola Stepanov
Kingston Room
Chair: Malcolm Parker
Raffles Room
Chair: Sara Potts
Portside Room
1500-1520 When parents veto telling the truth to a seriously ill child
Lynn Gillam
Normative ethics – Is that all there is? Is that all there is?
A/Prof. Paul Macneill
Contesting the right not to know
Dr Lisa Dive
Exploring the implications of collapsing boundaries in health law and ethicsDr Lisa Eckstein,Prof. Dianne Nicol, A/Prof. Mark Taylor, Dr Jessica Bell
1520-1540 High-stakes decision making for young children – an approach to parental refusals of treatment
Dr Janine Penfield Winters
Remember when health ethics seemed simple
A/Prof. Clare Delany
Inducement in research and lotteries – can a chance really be compensation?
A/Prof. David Hunter
1540-1600 Should all newborns have their genomes sequenced?
Dr John Lantos
The “shazam” moment in empirical bioethics
Prof. Angus Dawson
Collapsing borders between researchers and participants: Ethical complexities
Dr Merle Spriggs
1600-1610 Changeover
Savoy Room
Chair: Nikola Stepanov
Kingston Room
Chair: Hazel Irvine
Raffles Room
Chair: Sara Potts
Portside Room
1610-1630 Constitution of ‘the dying’: Voluntary assisted dying law reform in the Australian state of Victoria
Courtney Hempton
The ethics of using companion robots for older adults’ wellbeing
Simon Coghlan
Disorders of sex development: What guidance do doctors give to parents to tell their child about their intersex condition
Muhammad Zubayr Ali Maudarbocus
Practices and standards in empirical (bio)ethics research: An open discussion
Prof. Stacy Carter, Prof. Vikki Entwistle, Dr Bek McWhirter, Assistant Prof. Tamra Lysaght
1630-1650 Keeping secrets: Trust and confidentiality in counselling and psychotherapy
A/Prof. Andrew Crowden
AI in healthcare: Who’s responsible?
A/Prof. Bernadette Richards
Intersex: Contested bodies, contested identities
Morgan Carpenter
1650-1710 Some bioethical implications of Indigenous suicide: Reflections on suicide in northern Ontario
Dr Richard Matthews
Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment are not morally equivalent
Dr Andrew McGee
Fairness and inclusion: Is it time to replace the gender binary in elite sport?
Taryn Knox, A/Prof Lynley Anderson
1710-1730 Walk to Civic Reception – 3 minute walk to the Townsville Yacht Club

Civic Reception hosted by the Mayor | Townsville Yacht Club

The Welcome Drinks is the first social function of the conference. The ‘Ice-Breaker’. Don’t miss this opportunity to chance to catch up with colleagues and to meet other delegates, speakers and sponsors.

Monday 24th September 2018 | Rydges Townsville

0800 Registration Open | Conference Centre, Rydges Townsville
0830-0930 Integrity in Health Information Public Lecture | Chair: Dr Nikola Stepanova
Panel: Dr Nikola Stepnova, Queensland Integrity Commission (Chair); Mr Philip Green, Queensland Privacy Commissioner; Professor Richard Murray, Dean of the College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University; Dr Vicki Xafis, Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore, Centre for Biomedical Ethics

The primary and secondary use of confidential health data/information – what are the benefits and risks?

Health data is the most sensitive data and there is currently strong public interest in relation to the Australian Government’s My Health Record data collection software. Therefore, the lecture will traverse the way in which this health data can better inform health professionals and guide beneficial policy, as well as the need for data security due to the privacy risks which exist, particularly in this technological age and with the ever expanding use of AI. Click here for full description.

0930-0945 Short break
Plenary Session | Raffles Room
Chair: Andrew Crowden
0945-1030 Invited Speaker: Professor Emma Kowal
‘Indigenous biobanking’: Prospects and promise

Emma Kowal is Professor of Anthropology in the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University, Convenor of the Deakin Science and Society Network and former Deputy Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics at the Australian National University. Her current appointments include membership of the Steering Committee of the Genomics Health Futures Mission, a major investment of the Australian Government in precision medicine. Full biography.

1030-1100 Morning Tea | Foyer
Concurrent Session B
  Savoy Room
Chair: Camilla Scanlan
Kingston Room
Chair: Rachel Ankeny
Raffles Room
Chair: Bernadette Richards
Portside Room
1100-1120 Bringing the old into the new: The integration of traditional health knowledge perspectives into modern health law
Dr Jon Wardle
Complex factors affecting hospital doctors’ roles in and responsibilities for infection prevention
Prof. Lyn Gilbert
Contesting the certainty of Marion’s case
A/Prof. Mandy Shircore
The ethics of market withdrawal of and disinvestment from medicines
Jessica Pace, A/Prof Wendy Lipworth
1120-1140 Integrating Indigenous principles of human research ethics: The case of two Pacific Island Nations
Etvina Lovo
The use of coercive public health and human biosecurity law in Australia: An empirical analysis
Dr David J. Carter
The missing link: Legal education and active involvement by doctors in the medical negligence claims process as tools to reduce medical error and patient harm
Dr Tina Popa, Fiona Milnes
1140-1150 Changeover
1150-1210 The collapsing borders of the more-than-national health system of Timor-Leste
Karel Caals
Privacy and technologically enhanced communicable disease surveillance
Dr Jane Johnson
Mental health care in the age of empowerment
Nicole Shepherd
1210-1230 Bridging the equity gap in access to and benefit sharing of biological materials must remain firmly on the global development agenda
Dr Calvin W.I. Ho
One Health, rabies prevention and more-than-human considerations in Indigenous communities in Northern Australia
Dr Chris Degeling
Towards an ecology of dementia through systems thinking
Dr Michael Chapman
1230-1320 Lunch | Foyer

Presentation & Discussion – Proposal to amend AABHL sponsorship & promotions policy | Raffles Room

This proposal will be put forward at the AGM, but due to time restraints with the AGM we invite attendees to begin discussions around the proposal during lunch today.

Concurrent Session C
Savoy Room
Chair: Drew Allen Carter
Kingston Room
Chair: Mandy Shircore
Raffles Room
Chair: Rachel Ankeny
Portside Room
1320-1340 Dual loyalty, medical ethics and healthcare in offshore asylum seeker detention
A/Prof. Deborah Zion
A defence of risk relative capacity
Sam Boyle
Direct-to-consumer markets for stem cells: A comparative analysis of Australia, Japan and Singapore
A/Prof. Tamra Lysaght
Biobank networks, medical research and the challenge of globalisationDr Lisa Dive, Dr Edwina Light, Miriam Wiersma
1340-1400 Overdiagnosis and risk: When is it justifiable to impose risk of harm in health care?
Prof. Wendy Rogers
Challenging the core of legal doctrine: Negotiating the ‘supported’ decision making paradigm
Dr Jeanne Snelling
Justice in genomic medicine: Challenges for Australian law and policy
Prof. Belinda Bennett
1400-1420 What does the literature say about how we should prioritise pandemic influenza vaccines and what are the implications for Australasia?
Dr Jane Williams
Hazardous changes in clinical practice
Dr Judith Kennedy

John McPhee (Law) Student Essay Winner

The boundaries of embryo research: Extending the 14-day rule
Caitlin Davis

1420-1430 Changeover
Savoy Room
Chair: Nikola Stepanov
Kingston Room
Chair: Mandy Shircore
Raffles Room
Chair: Ian Kerridge
Portside Room
1430-1450 Should we offer resuscitation to babies born at 22 weeks?
Dr John Lantos
Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying laws: A regulatory analysis
Prof. Ben White
Researcher-Native Relations: Ethical considerations relating to emerging animal models in Australian science
Prof. Rachel A. Ankeny
Beyond consent and anonymity in the big data era
Dr Vicki Xafis, Dr Wendy Lipworth, Dr Owen Schaefer
1450-1510 An ethical framework for antenatal counselling at the threshold of viability
Dr Andrew Hutchinson
Not all physician assisted death policies are created equal: Assessing some practical and ethical implications of policy options for medical assistance in dying
Daryl Pullman
Obtaining consent for research from people with dementia: Do we try hard enough?
Deirdre Fetherstonhaugh
1510-1530 Hype and genomics: arguing for precautionary implementation to uphold autonomy in preconception screening
A/Prof. Ainsley Newson
Collapsing the indefensible border between law and clinical evidence: A new constitutive model of medical education and decision-making
Prof. Malcolm Parker
The need for ethics committees and evaluation agencies in coverage with evidence development: The case of crizotinib in Australia
Dr Drew Carter
1530-1550 Afternoon Tea | Foyer
Plenary Session | Raffles Room
Chair: Rachel Ankeny

1550-1625 Invited Speaker: Dr Christopher Mayes
Whiteness as a bioethical problem

Christopher Mayes is a Research Fellow in the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University and Research-Affiliate in Sydney Health Ethics at the University of Sydney. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with disciplinary backgrounds in philosophy and sociology.  Full biography.

1625-1700 Invited Speaker: Professor Luc Deliens
Euthanasia and vulnerable groups. Belgium on a slippery slope?

Prof Luc Deliens has a PhD in Health Sciences and MSc in Sociology. Since 2000, he is Director of the End-of-Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Ghent University, in Belgium

1700-1710 Presentation of Awards | Raffles Room

AABHL AGM | Raffles Room

All Members & Non-Members Welcome.  Refreshments provided.  Lucky door prizes!

1800 Empirical Bioethics Stream Networking Meeting | Meet outside the Raffles Room to walk with the group to the Townsville Yacht Club
Free evening

Tuesday 25th September 2018 | Rydges Townsville

0800 Registration Open | Conference Centre, Rydges Townsville
Plenary Session | Raffles Room
Chair: Lynn Woodward

0830-0915 Invited Speaker: Professor Richard Murray
Ethics, professionalism and the social contract: Socially accountable health professional education

Professor Richard Murray is the Dean of the College of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University and the President of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand. His career focus has been in rural and remote medicine, Aboriginal health, public health, tropical medicine, medical and health professional education and the healthcare needs of underserved populations.  Full biography.

0915-1000 Invited Speaker: Professor Michael Selgelid
Dengue vaccination ethics

Professor Michael Selgelid is Director of the Monash Bioethics Centre; Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Bioethics at Monash; and Chair of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Bioethics.  He is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash and a Monash-Warwick Honorary Professor in the Department of Politics & International Studies at the University of Warwick (UK). Full biography.

1000-1030 Morning Tea | Foyer
Concurrent Session D
Savoy Room
Chair: Andrew Crowden
Kingston Room
Chair: Stacy Carter
Raffles Room
Chair: Camilla Scanlan
Portside Room
1030-1050 A world first 3D printed tibial implant: Recognising and managing the risk of ethical slippage at the boundary of research and clinical practice with respect to innovative technology
Dr Jenny Jones
When language and words impact discussions and decisions around withholding or withdrawing clinically assisted nutrition and hydration in children with life limiting conditions
A/Prof Helen Irving
Case study: Dr Bawa-Gaba – guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence
Janine McIlwraith,Jacob Sutton
Are you ethical? Sharing practices in assessing medical ethics workshopA/Prof. David Hunter, Drew Carter 
1050-1110 Stem cell registries: Collapsing the borders between research, commerce and clinical practice
A/Prof. Wendy Lipworth
What is wrong with Best Interest Standard, Zone of Parental Discretion and the Harm Principle in paediatric decisions
Dr Ben Gray
Standard of care – can Bolam be resuscitated?
Dr Charles Douglas
1110-1130 The ethics of farming human-pig chimeras and non-chimeric pigs
Dr Julian Koplin
Maternal consumption of alcohol and moral responsibility in pregnancy
A/Prof. Catherine Mills
Informed consent and professional liability for causation of harm post Montgomery
Tracey Carver, Dr Malcolm Smith
1130-1140 Changeover
Savoy Room
Chair: Andrew Crowden
Kingston Room
Chair: Jenny Jones
Raffles Room
Chair: Camilla Scanlan
Portside Room
1140-1200 Ethics in personalised medicine research: Case study of an iPSC-based system for predicting individual treatment responses
Dr Mary Jean Walker
Ulysses in Australia: Can a person with mental illness bind herself in advance to treatment?
Katrine Del Villar
Do health professionals understand enduring documents? The case for education
Denise Craig
What are the responsibilities of AABHL in relation to Australia’s policy on asylum seeker detention?
A/Prof. Deborah Zion, A/Prof. Paul Macneill, A/Prof. Chris Jordens, Prof. Angus Dawson
1200-1220 Reproductive freedom and flourishing in the age of in vitro-derived gametes
Dr Lauren Notini
Psychiatric Advance Directives and the someone else problem: A question of practical identity
Anson Fehross
Authority in empirical bioethics
Prof. Stacy Carter, Prof. Vikki Entwistle

Max Charlesworth (Bioethics) Student Essay Winner

In pursuit of our parenting ideals: A Kantian argument against genetic selection
Jemimah Thompson

Existential loneliness, intimacy and end of life in residential aged care
Julie Letts
Contesting certainties and changing paradigms for young professionals: Establishing medical ethics curricula in Pakistan
Dr Sarosh Saleem
1240-1330 Lunch | Foyer
Concurrent Session E
Savoy Room
Chair: Tamra Lysaght
Kingston Room
Chair: Stacy Carter
Raffles Room
Chair: Angus Dawson
Portside Room
1330-1350 Working with communities: Engaging the public about the ethics of and decision to pursue personal genomic testing
Dr Jacqueline Savard
Rapid challenges: Ethics and genomic neonatal intensive care
Dr Christopheer Gyngell
Cards, profiles and templates – regulating human biometric Information and biological material
Dr Marcus Smith
What can we learn from diverse cultures that could/should change our approaches to teaching bioethics?
Dr Yvonne Cadet-James, Dr Ben Gray, Prof. Emma Kowal, Dr Richard Matthews, Dr Camilla Scanlan
1350-1410 Thinking anew about death: Presenting the rationale for an Australian study of health professionals and public attitudes on death and organ donation
Dr Cynthia Forlini
Challenges with the introduction of genomic sequencing in medicine: genetic health professionals’ perspectives
Dr Danya Vears
A proposal for recognising semen as a special class of property
Benjamin Hofmann
1410-1430 What do people with life-limiting illness considering euthanasia think about treatments at the end-of-life?
Jessica Young
Increased access to reproductive genetic testing – silver bullet or Pandora’s box?
Selina Metternick-Jones
How compliant are dental practice Facebook pages with Australian health care advertising regulations? A Netnographic review
Alexander Holden
1430-1440 Changeover
Savoy Room
Chair: Tamra Lysaght
Kingston Room
Chair: Stacy Carter
Chair: Nikola Stepanov
1440-1500 Medical futility at the end-of-life: an Australian policy analysis
Eliana Close
Disclosure of genetic results to relatives – is there a gap between practice and regulation?
Dr Carolyn Johnston, Dr Rebekah McWhirter
Teaching bioethics and biotechnology through children’s cyberpunk: Children’s literature in the university ethics classroom
Evie Kendal

What mechanisms are suitable to protect Australian Indigenous knowledge
Sara Potts

Parental rights, best interests and significant harms: Medical decision-making on behalf of children post – Great Ormond Street Hospital v Yates [2017]
Dr Imogen Goold

1500-1530 Afternoon Tea | Foyer
Closing Plenary Session | Raffles Room
Chair: Bernadette Richards
1530-1615 Invited Speaker: Professor Vikki Entwistle
Person-centred care: navigating ethical tensions and uncertainties

Vikki Entwistle is the Director of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the National University of Singapore.  Vikki’s research is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative. She draws particularly on social sciences and philosophy, and works with clinicians and patient-advocates as well as academic colleagues to develop practically useful thinking about how healthcare policy and practice can contribute to human flourishing.  Full biography.

1615-1630 Closing Session & Handover

Meet the ferry for the transfer to Magnetic Island. Boarding 1745, please do not be late, we cannot wait.

IMPORTANT:  The return transfer on the ferry has been chartered for the AABHL conference dinner.  It is not transferable to another ferry crossing time.


Conference Dinner | Peppers Blue on Blue Resort, Magnetic Island

Catch the ferry to the gorgeous Magnetic Island for a 3 course dinner and drinks. Entertainment will be provided by Pinky’s Disco Entertainment. Tickets no charge for full registrations and $120 for guests and day registrations.  Book during registration.

FERRY RETURN: Ferry will board 2115 for a 2130 departure.  Returning to the mainland 2155.

Wednesday 26th September 2018 | Rydges Townsville


A selection of workshops will be held at the venue as part of the incoming AEN conference on Wednesday 26th September and AABHL Delegates are welcome to attend.

Workshop fees are an additional cost to both AABHL and AEN delegates.

0730-0830 Registration
Room Savoy Room Kingston Room Raffles Room
0830-1230 Consent in research

Facilitators: Professor Ian Kerridge and Professor Paul Komesaroff
This workshop will cover: Capacity to consent: Own consent; substitute decision maker for adults consent; parental / legal guardian consent. Approaches to consent: full consent; opt out; waiver of consent. Ascertaining level of risk and consent. Consent in different situations, e.g online research. Further information will be advised when available.
Research integrity

Facilitators: Dr Jillian Barr and Ms Anne Walsh
This workshop will cover: Update on Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Managing misconduct – how to address problems that arise. How to facilitate adequate monitoring of studies. Further information will be advised when available.
1230-1300 Break
Room Savoy Room Kingston Room Raffles Room
1300-1700 HREC members training

Facilitators: Dr Conor Brophy and Ms Sara Potts
The purpose of the workshop is to provide Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Members, HREC Administrators and those involved with the planning, conduct and review of research involving humans with a deeper understanding of the purpose and function of an HREC and their role within these committees. The workshop is designed to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with facilitators experienced in ethical deliberation on research and their peers in a supportive learning environment. The workshop will focus on the National Statement and other relevant guidance by means of practical consideration of research ethics application and the role of the HREC and researchers in applying this guidance.
Ethics Goverance of Human Research Data in the Age of Genomics

Facilitators: A/Professor Andrew Crowden and Dr Richard Roylance
It is reasonable to expect that contemporary genomic data governance arrangements should be developed to respect humans and non-human animals, promote fair distribution of benefits, foster trust, reciprocity and integrity while offering support to the advancement of research and scientific knowledge. If governance is inclusive, sustainable and responsive to current and future scientific developments then it is likely to be practically useful and ethical. Many will benefit. In this workshop, key challenges associated with the ethical governance of new [global] hybrid genomic data infrastructures (including genomic biobanks) will be identified and briefly discussed. Participants will have the opportunity to consider cases and make suggestions in response to practical examples. The Australian context is used as an initial focus for discussion. However, the claims and suggestions are applicable anywhere. They are particularly pertinent to situations where the scientific reliance on new hybrid genomic data infrastructures is outpacing considered ethical analysis.
Research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Facilitators: TBC
This workshop will cover: How to conduct consumer engagement. Reflecting on different population sizes in research depending on research location . Ethical consideration when conducting research with First Nations peoples. Update on revised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research ethics guidelines document.
1800 AEN Civic Reception hosted by the Townsville Mayor (AEN Delegates only)