Bi9950 Introduction to bioethics

Faculty of Science
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught online.
prof. RNDr. Renata Veselská, Ph.D., M.Sc. (lecturer)
RNDr. Petr Chlapek, DiS., Ph.D. (alternate examiner)
Mgr. Daniela Cincibus Vacková (assistant)
Guaranteed by
prof. RNDr. Renata Veselská, Ph.D., M.Sc.
Department of Experimental Biology – Biology Section – Faculty of Science
Contact Person: prof. RNDr. Renata Veselská, Ph.D., M.Sc.
Supplier department: Department of Experimental Biology – Biology Section – Faculty of Science
Mon 15:00–16:50 prace doma
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 7 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course "Bioethics" responds to the increasing importance of ethics in biomedical research as well as in clinical practice. The main aim of this course is to offer basics of bioethics, its origin, history and methods, as well as to discuss some ethical aspects of biomedicine and related clinical applications. From the methodical point of view, the course will be focused on the identification of individual ethically relevant aspects of biomedical research or clinical practice and especially on the critical assessment of different moral viewpoints rather than a determination of the (only) morally right standpoint. Furthermore, this course is also aimed at ethical standards of research including ethical and legal rules for good scientific practice and for project proposals. During the whole course, ethical argumentation and reasoning will be shown on the relevant real cases.
Learning outcomes
Student will be able to explain the origin and development of bioethics in the historical context; to identify and to describe the main ethical dilemmas in the different fields of biomedicine; to understand and to justify various types of argumentation in the model case studies; to give the basic overview of relevant ethics codes and legal norms.
  • 1. BIOETHICS: 5W1H (origin, history and scope of bioethics, methodical approaches)
  • 2. FROM PATIENT TO CLIENT (paternalism vs. partnership, biomedicine and human rights, codes of ethics and related legislation, informed consent, exception for reasons of conscience, healthcare and personal data protection, transhumanism, human enhancement)
  • 3. EUGENICS AND PROCREATIVE LIBERTY (definition and history of eugenics, concept of procreative liberty, abortions and sterilizations, eugenics in present day)
  • 4. REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (principles and methods of the assisted reproduction, gamete donation and embryo donation, surrogate motherhood, age limitations, non-medical accessibility of assissted reproduction)
  • 5. GENETIC TESTING (preimplantation, prenatal and postnatal diagnosis, genetic screening, predictive and presymptomatic testing, diagnosis for non-medical reasons, "entertaining" genetics)
  • 6. ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION AND RESEARCH ON HUMAN SUBJECT (the use of animals in biomedical research, standards for the work with laboratory animals, 3R principle, alternative methods, therapeutic and non-therapeutic research, clinical studies, recruitment of participants)
  • 7. DEATH AND DYING (definitions of death, dysthanasia and euthanasia, refusal of mediacl care, medical futility, palliative care and hospice movement)
  • 8. TRANSPLANTATION MEDICINE AND USE OF HUMAN BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES (history of transplantations, resources of biological material, principle of presumed consent/dissent, identifiable samples, biobanking)
  • 9. NEW FORMS OF LIFE (transgenosis, genetically modified organisms, genome editing, hybrid, chimera and cybrid creation, stem cells, cloning)
  • 10. ETHICS IN SCIENCE (scientific integrity, authorship, publication rules, reviewing)
  • 11. REGULATIONS OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH (patentability of biological material and living organisms, international and national regulations of biomedical research, ethical commissions and advisory boards)
  • 12. LESSONS FROM COVID: ETHICS IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIA (authonomy vs. public health protection, limitations of healthcare availability, principles of triage)
  • Kohák, Erazim: Člověk, dobro a zlo: o smyslu života v zrcadle dějin (Kapitoly z dějin morální filosofie). Ježek, Praha, 1993.
  • Ricken, Friedo: Obecná etika. ISE, Praha, 1995.
  • Rotter, Hans: Důstojnost lidského života. Vyšehrad, Praha, 1999.
  • Rotter, Hans: Osoba a etika. CDK, Brno, 1997.
  • Thomasma, David C., Kushnerová, Thomasine (ed.): Od narození do smrti. Mladá fronta, Praha, 2000.
  • Veatch, Robert M.: The Basics of Bioethics. Prentice Hall. 2002.
  • Kleber, Karl-Heinz: Na hranicích etické únosnosti (Etické úvahy o problematice reprodukční medicíny a genové technologie). Síť, Praha, 1994.
  • Anzenbacher, Arno: Úvod do etiky. Academia, Praha, 2001.
  • Veselská, Renata, Kuře, Josef (ed.): Lidský genom - vědění, možnosti, souvislosti (sborník k interdisciplinární konferenci). Masarykova univerzita, Brno, 2000.
Teaching methods
Online lectures via MS Teams (lecture records will be provided in the IS MU).
Assessment methods
Written form of the exam.
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
General note: Od období podzim 2021 je předmět vyučován na LF jako CORE015 Bioetika: etika života.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2007 - for the purpose of the accreditation, Autumn 2010 - only for the accreditation, Autumn 2003, Autumn 2004, Autumn 2006, Autumn 2007, Autumn 2008, Autumn 2009, Autumn 2010, Autumn 2011, Autumn 2011 - acreditation, Autumn 2012, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2014, Autumn 2015, Autumn 2016, autumn 2017, Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019.
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