Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    Key concepts in ethics such as autonomy, dignity, justice, and duty. To elucidate the character of moral debate with respect to the health and well-being of people.

    This paper explores the key values, theories and methods in Bioethics. They include virtue ethics, deontology, utilitarianism, feminism, autonomy, justice, reflective equilibrium, empirical studies and transcultural bioethics. It will provide a firm foundation for conducting bioethical research and examining the practical moral challenges in health care, life sciences and biotechnologies.

    About this paper

    Paper title Theories of Biomedical Ethics
    Subject Bioethics
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $2,223.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    There is one residential weekend held in Dunedin. Attendance is expected.

    Entry to Bioethics postgraduate papers assumes that the student has completed an undergraduate degree or has completed BITC 301 Bioethics or a 300-level paper in a related subject (e.g. in Philosophy, Politics, Law, Health Sciences or Life Sciences).


    Professor Jing-Bao Nie: or phone 03 471 6129

    Teaching staff

    Co-ordinator: Professor Jing-Bao Nie; and other academic staff members of the Bioethics Centre.

    Paper Structure

    The paper consists of three parts:

    • Key Concepts and Theories
    • Main Methods
    • New Approaches
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    There is one residential weekend held in Dunedin. Students are strongly advised to attend the residential weekend in person, though students may contact the paper convenor for an exemption if they are unable to attend in person.

    The seminars and lectures for BITC401 are AV-linked.


    No textbook is required for this paper. All readings are available on Blackboard.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of the paper students will:

    • Have in-depth understanding of a range of key values, theories and methods in bioethics
    • Have further developed abilities and skills of critical thinking, identifying and analysing bioethical issues, conducting bioethical research, and articulating thoughts and reasoning with evidence and coherent arguments


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 16:00-17:50 9-11, 13, 15-19, 21


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Friday 10:00-17:50 11
    Saturday 09:00-17:50 11
    Back to top