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School of Law

SOLM101 Introduction To Bioethics (Not running 2021-22)

Module Description

This module introduces the main theoretical questions and frameworks in modern bioethics. Bioethics is a field of inquiry concerned with the ethical, legal, social, professional and policy questions relating to technological and other innovations and practices in healthcare, with particular reference to human health and wellbeing. It stands in an important critical dialogue with medical law and ethics. This module introduces the theories and methods of bioethics, and although it can stand alone, it is also preparatory to the subsequent New Medical Technologies and the Law 2 and 3 modules.


Week 1:
1. Introduction: what is a problem in bioethics and how is it tackled?
2. A brief history of bioethics

Week 2:
3. The "Belmont Report" and the Four Principles
4. Liberal approaches

Week 3:
5. Consequentialism
6. Distributive Justice

Week 4:
7. Human Rights
8. Feminist bioethics

Week 5:
9. Disability and bioethics
10. Bioethics and the social sciences

Applicable Groupings

Mode of Assessment

Final Assessment Exercise


15 Credits