This module is the core module of the Bioethics and Society MSc, but is also an optional module to students of the MSc in Medical Humanities. It offers a critical introduction to the theoretical frameworks used in contemporary bioethics. The first lecture of the module will introduce students to the development of the academic and professional discipline of bioethics in the US and UK. It will also present the critical empirical approach to bioethics, which is distinctive of the Bioethics and Society MSc, building on a variety of disciplinary approaches (philosophy, social sciences, and science and technologies studies).
In weeks 2-5 the students are introduced to the key concepts in bioethics, such as human nature; moral status, personhood and identity, reproductive freedom/procreative liberty, acts versys omissions, and therapy/enhancement distinction. Weeks 6-10 will engage students in a critical analysis of key theoretical frameworks used in bioethics, i.e. utilitarianism, non-consequentialism, principlism, virtue ethics, and narrative ethics.
Dr Silvia Camporesi/Dr Gry Wester
2-hour lecture per week, followed by a 1-hour seminar-based discussion where we apply the concepts and theoretical frameworks to case studies.
Module assessment - more information
3,000 summative essay and written examination