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BITC301 Bioethics

Ethical issues in health care, medicine and biotechnology. Fundamental ethical concepts such as value of life, individual freedom, justice, cultural differences and universal moral values.

Is euthanasia morally justifiable? Should self-harm be medically treated? What is just healthcare? Why did wartime medical atrocities occur? The paper explores these questions and a wide range of other bioethical topics from the beginning of life to the end of life, and from patient-physician relationships to global matters. It also examines the key bioethical principles and concepts such as value of life, informed consent, freedom, beneficence, justice, cultural diversity and universal morality.

Paper title Bioethics
Paper code BITC301
Subject Bioethics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $810.90
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,260.00

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240 points (including 72 200-level points)
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordintaor: Associate Professor Jing-Bao Nie
Other academic staff members of the Bioethics Centre
Paper Structure
The paper consists of five parts:
Foundation and Context; Healthcare Ethics; At the Beginning of life; At the End of Life; Cross-Cultural and Global Issues
Text books are not required for this paper. All of the readings are available on Blackboard
Teaching Arrangements
Lectures with plenty of class discussion, some films and documentaries
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, interdisciplinary perspective, global perspective, cultural understanding, scholarship, research. View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Becoming familiar with the ethical issues involved in a range of bioethical topics, the key bioethical values or principles and their application; Having further cultivated moral sensitivity as well as abilities and skills of critical thinking, interdisciplinary dialogue, identifying and analysing bioethical issues, and articulating thoughts and reasoning with evidence and coherent arguments.
Suitable for undergraduates of 3rd year or above of all disciplines including sciences, humanities and commerce.
Associate Professor Jing-Bao Nie; phone 03 471 6129

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Weeks: 9-14,16-22 Wed : 16:00-17:50
Weeks: 9-14,16-17,19-22 Mon : 16:00-17:50