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Research Fellow at the Children's Bioethics Centre, The University of Melbourne

Dr Merle Spriggs has a PhD in Bioethics. Her expertise is in the areas of informed consent, patient autonomy, paediatric ethics, empirical ethics the ethics of research practice and ethical theory. Her publications are predominantly in this area and she has developed substantial educational resources for Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) and researchers who conduct research involving children.
Other research includes ethical issues and responsibilities in paediatric biobanking, e-health ethics, specifically, the ethics of internet-based research and the ethical issues of electronic health records. Current projects are: The ethics of altering children; Ethical considerations of using research participants as co-researcher; Involving children in social research: balancing the risks and benefits; Telling the truth to seriously ill children.

Merle has over 20 years experience on hospital and university Human Research Ethics Committees and is a member of the Royal Children’s Hospital Clinical Ethics Committee and Clinical Ethics Response Group. She is also on the Advisory Panel of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA).


  • –present
    Research Fellow Bioethics, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute


  • 2002 
    Monash University, PhD / Bioethics