Module leader: Dr Stephen W. Smith
This module provides an introduction to bioethics and its connection to UK medical law. Topics covered include:
- General ethical approaches (consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics)
- Professional bodies (Royal Colleges of Medicine, General Medical Council, British Medical Association)
- Moral status, value of life
- Beneficence/non-maleficence/ harm
- Future generations
- Retention of organs and tissues including organ transplantation
- Global and societal bioethics issues including population control
- Allocation of resources and environmental issues
- The application of ethics to law (including law and morality, human rights and ethics, and criminal law and ethics)
Bioethics is my favourite module for a number of reasons. Firstly, the format of the course is unique. It is entirely seminar based which is engaging, informative, provocative of independent analysis and quite frankly, it is more fun. Secondly, the module leader conducts the sessions in such a way that he imparts his great expertise and knowledge on us whilst giving us a sufficient ambit to work things out ourselves which ultimately makes arguments and theories stick in one's understanding."
The seminars have enabled me to engage in discussions, which has exposed me to embrace new ways of thinking, and learn to admire and respect the reasons behind the views my peers adopt. The module has really broadened my horizons. It is both a mentally and emotionally challenging module because it confronts you to talk about issues which normally may render some to leave the room."