PY428-6-AU-CO:
Philosophy and Medical Ethics

The details
2023/24
Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Undergraduate: Level 6
Current
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
15
20 October 2023

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BA VV56 Philosophy, Religion and Ethics,
BA VV57 Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (Including Placement Year),
BA VV58 Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV59 Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA VV5P Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module will introduce students to a wide range of philosophical questions that are raised by everyday medical practice and recent developments in biomedical science. It will show how the resources of moral philosophy and philosophy more widely can help us to develop a better understanding of these questions, and enable us to critically assess the ways in which these issues are currently dealt with. The exact range of topics addressed will vary from year to year.


The module will explore the following issues: the moral significance of health and the just allocation of medical resource (between patients and on the level of healthcare budgets; using the current pandemic as one of the case studies); the ethics of reproduction (e.g. surrogate mothering and sex selection), and the ethics of enhancement. Finally, this module will familiarise students with Foucault's notion of "biopolitics" and racism, to explore their relevance for developing a critical understanding of the wider context in which medical-ethical questions arise.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:



  • To learn about why and how theories of justice bear on the issue of health.

  • To be aware of, and become able to critically reflect on, the ethical issues raised by reproductive medicine.

  • To become able to identify and critically reflect on the philosophical, ethical and political issues raised by recent advances in life sciences/bioengineering.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:



  1. Identify the ethical and philosophical issues raised by a selection of medical matters.

  2. Explain the debates concerning these issues.

  3. Critically assess the merits of the conflicting arguments.


Skills for your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)


By the end of this module, students should also have acquired a set of transferable skills, and in particular be able to:



  1. Define the task in which they are engaged and exclude what is irrelevant.

  2. Seek and organise the most relevant discussions and sources of information.

  3. Process a large volume of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments.

  4. Compare and evaluate different arguments and assess the limitations of their own position or procedure.

  5. Write and present verbally a succinct and precise account of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications.

  6. Be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate their own views in ways that are accessible to them.

  7. Think 'laterally' and creatively - see interesting connections and possibilities and present these clearly rather than as vague hunches.

  8. Maintain intellectual flexibility and revise their own position if shown wrong.

  9. Think critically and constructively.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour combined lecture and seminar per week.
  • One 1-hour class per week.

There will also be a Reading Week.

Bibliography

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay Plan (700 words)  11/12/2023  25% 
Coursework   Essay Plan Presentation  11/12/2023  25% 
Coursework   Essay (2500 words)  16/01/2024  50% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Joerg Schaub, email: jschaub@essex.ac.uk.
PHAIS General Office - 6.130; pyugadmin@essex.ac.uk.

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
Yes

External examiner

Dr Josiah Saunders
Durham University
Associate Professor
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 27 hours, 27 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.

 


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