Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

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? What is just healthcare? What are the ethical issues of human gene editing? 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 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

240 points (including 72 200-level points)
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science

Suitable for third-year undergraduates or above of all disciplines, including sciences, humanities, social sciences and commerce.


Professor Jing-Bao Nie
Tel 03 471 6129

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Jing-Bao Nie
Bioethics Centre Academic Staff

Paper Structure
The paper consists of 5 parts:
  • Foundation and Context
  • Healthcare Ethics
  • At the Beginning of Life
  • At the End of Life
  • Cross-Cultural and Global Issues
Teaching Arrangements

Lectures with plenty of class discussion, some films, documentaries and student presentation of readings.


Textbooks are not required for this paper. All of the readings are available on Blackboard.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students will have become familiar with the ethical issues involved in a range of bioethical topics and the key bioethical values or principles and their application and will have further cultivated moral sensitivity as well as abilities and skills of:
  • Critical thinking
  • Interdisciplinary dialogue
  • Identifying and analysing bioethical issues
  • Articulating thoughts and reasoning with evidence and coherent arguments

^ Top of page


Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-15:50 9-14, 16-22
Thursday 14:00-15:50 9-14, 16-22