Clinical Ethics Stream

Capacity in Clinical Ethics Support is increasing in many Australasian healthcare organisations.  The AABHL Clinical Ethics Stream promotes interest and expertise in clinical ethics support.  Stream leaders Ros McDougall and Vicki Xafis, are aiming for the Stream to function as a hub, bringing together AABHL members involved in clinical ethics support and associated research to share ideas and build capacity.

Activities of the Stream include a satellite meeting focusing on clinical ethics, associated with the annual AABHL conference. This follows a very successful Clinical Ethics workshop preceding the Wellington conference in 2015.  A further satellite meeting will be held on Wednesday 23 November as part of the Melbourne AABHL Conference in 2016. Updates will be posted on the conference website:

The Stream shares much of its membership with the Australasian Clinical Ethics Network. The ACE Network is open to anyone in Australia and New Zealand who is interested in clinical ethics, and it is run by the Stream leaders. The ACE Network held its inaugural event in Sydney on 17 October 2015.

We are always keen to hear your ideas and suggestions, so please feel free to contact us on any of the following addresses:


Stream Leaders

Rosalind McDougall is a Research Fellow in Ethics at the Centre for Health Equity (University of Melbourne) and the Children’s Bioethics Centre (Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne).  She has expertise in philosophical bioethics and qualitative research.  Her particular areas of interest include clinical ethics and ethical issues around parenthood.  She completed the BPhil at the University of Oxford in 2005, developing a virtue ethics approach to the moral assessment of reproductive technologies.  Her PhD was awarded by the University of Melbourne in 2010 and investigated the ethical challenges experienced by junior doctors.  She has previously worked at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and for Children’s Hospitals Australasia.  Rosalind is currently working on a project funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, addressing the question “when should health professionals override parents’ decisions about a child’s medical treatment?”.  Rosalind has been involved in providing clinical ethics support since 2008, firstly at Monash Health and now at the Royal Children’s Hospital where she is a member of the Clinical Ethics Response Group.



 Vicki Xafis is the Clinical Ethics Coordinator at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. She is involved with research in perinatal ethics, is Secretary of the PSANZ Perinatal Palliative Care SIG, and has worked as a senior research ethics administrator. She is an experienced qualitative researcher, has expertise in project management, and has extensive experience as an educator. Her PhD research was conducted at the University of Adelaide and focused on the ethical, legal and social acceptability of data linkage in Australia. Other qualifications include M Bioethics, Monash University, BA (Languages) and Hons I (Linguistics), Monash University, and the Royal Society of Arts (Cambridge) DTEFLA. Her interests include perinatal and paediatric palliative care, parental decision-making, communication skills, and consent

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