Bi9950 Introduction to bioethics

Faculty of Science
Autumn 2019
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
prof. RNDr. Renata Veselská, Ph.D., M.Sc. (lecturer)
Mgr. Daniela Cincibus Vacková (assistant)
RNDr. Petr Chlapek, DiS., Ph.D. (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 A11/132
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 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 research ethics. 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 experimental biology 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 and 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 grant applications. During the whole course, ethical argumentation and reasoning will be shown on 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. INTRODUCTION TO BIOETHICS (origin, history and scope of bioethics, methodical approaches)
  • 2. HUMAN ENHANCEMENT (theory of human enhancement, eugenics and dysgenics, gene therapy, genetic and non-genetic enhancement)
  • 3. INFORMED CONSENT (origin and concept of informed consent, informed consent in biomedical practice, human rights, rights of patients)
  • 4. BEGINNING OF LIFE OF A HUMAN BEING (problems in terminology, concept of reproductive liberty, abortion and sterilization, principles and methods of the assisted reproduction, gamete donation and embryo donation, surrogate motherhood, age limitations, embryo research)
  • 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 (use of animals in biomedical research, standards for the work with laboratory animals, 3R principle, alternative methods therapeutic and non-therapeutic research, clinical studies, principle of informed consent)
  • 7. DEATH AND DYING (definitions of death, euthanasia, futile treatment, palliative care)
  • 8. TRANSPLANTATION MEDICINE AND USE OF HUMAN BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES (resources of biological material, identifiable/anonymous samples, transplantations - principle of presumed consent/dissent, DNA samples, biobanking)
  • 9. NEW FORMS OF LIFE (transgenosis, genetically modified organisms, chimera creation, stem cells, cloning)
  • 10. INFORMATION ACCESSIBILITY AND PATENT ISSUES (digital databases, informational privacy, patentability of biological material and living organisms)
  • 11. ETHICS IN SCIENCE (scientific integrity, authorship, publication rules, reviewing)
  • 12. RESEARCH AND LAW (important documents and legal norms on bioethics, ethical and legal requirements of grant application, ethical commissions and advisory boards)
  • Veselská, Renata, Kuře, Josef (ed.): Lidský genom - vědění, možnosti, souvislosti (sborník k interdisciplinární konferenci). Masarykova univerzita, Brno, 2000.
  • Ricken, Friedo: Obecná etika. ISE, Praha, 1995.
  • Thomasma, David C., Kushnerová, Thomasine (ed.): Od narození do smrti. Mladá fronta, Praha, 2000.
  • Rotter, Hans: Důstojnost lidského života. Vyšehrad, Praha, 1999.
  • 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.
  • Rotter, Hans: Osoba a etika. CDK, Brno, 1997.
  • Kohák, Erazim: Člověk, dobro a zlo: o smyslu života v zrcadle dějin (Kapitoly z dějin morální filosofie). Ježek, Praha, 1993.
  • Veatch, Robert M.: The Basics of Bioethics. Prentice Hall. 2002.
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
Written test and oral exam (based on the written test results). The test consists of 30 questions; each of them is evaluated by 1 point. The classification of the test is as follows: A: 27 to 30 points, B: 24 to 26 points, C: 21 to 23 points, D: 18 to 20 points, E: 15 to 17 points, F: 14 or less points.
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
General note: Předmět se doporučuje zapsat v 1. nebo 3. semestru.
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.
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