Biomedical Ethics, advanced course, 7.5 credits (721A52)

Biomedical Ethics, advanced course, 7.5 hp

Course description

What does it mean to undergo medical screening, and when and why shouldn't such screening be offered? How do norms about sex, gender and kinship shape the ways in which we understand bodies as well as medical treatments, and when should this be seen as ethically troubling? Should bodily donations be performed out of altruism, as market-like exchanges or something else, and why or why not? How should priority-setting in health care take place and what are the core ethical issues in psychiatry? These and other questions related to biomedical ethics are discussed during this course, which examines different theoretical conceptions, arguments, cases and cultural understandings.

Main field of study

Applied Ethics


Second cycle

Course type

Single subject course


Kristin Zeiler, Elin Palm

Course coordinator

Kristin Zeiler

Director of studies or equivalent

Lars Lindblom

Available for exchange students



Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus VOF
Single subject course (Full-time, Day-time) Spring 2022 v202209-202213 English Linköping
Single subject course (Full-time, Day-time) Spring 2022 v202209-202213 English Linköping

Main field of study

Applied Ethics

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level


Entry requirements

  • 180 ECTS credits passed with 90 ECTS credits passed in courses in a subject area including an academic paper of 15 ECTS credits.
  • English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (Engelska 6/B)
    (Exemption from Swedish)

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the course, students should be able to
- demonstrate deeper knowledge in ethics by studying issues in biomedical ethics,
- account for concepts, theories and problems within the field of biomedical ethics,
- analyse problems in biomedical ethics,
- argue for a standpoint of their own regarding a few issues in biomedical ethics,
- demonstrate an open and critical attitude to positions and arguments in biomedical ethics.

Course content

Biomedical ethics is the study of ethical problems raised by biomedicine. Important areas are biomedical research ethics and clinical ethics. The course focuses on problems related to, e.g., assisted reproduction, genetic testing, clinical encounters, end-of-life situations, resource allocation in health care, and animal experimentation. Cases as well as theoretical arguments are discussed.

Teaching and working methods

In the course students read and analyse texts, participate in group work, write papers and are actively involved in seminar discussions. In addition, lectures are offered. Work with web resources may also be provided. Homework and independent study are a necessary complement to the course. Language of instruction: English.


The course is examined by oral presentations and writing a paper. Detailed information about the examination can be found in the course’s study guide.

If special circumstances prevail, and if it is possible with consideration of the nature of the compulsory component, the examiner may decide to replace the compulsory component with another equivalent component.

If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it.

If the coordinator has recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives.

An examiner may also decide that an adapted examination or alternative form of examination if the examiner assessed that special circumstances prevail, and the examiner assesses that it is possible while maintaining the objectives of the course.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.



Other information

If special circumstances prevail, the vice-chancellor may in a special decision specify the preconditions for temporary deviations from this course syllabus, and delegate the right to take such decisions.

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is carried out in such a way that both men´s and women´s experience and knowledge is made visible and developed.


Institutionen för kultur och samhälle


See Additional documents for literature list.

EX01 Seminars U, G 2.5 credits
EX02 Individual Examination EC 5 credits

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