The Ethics of Biomedicine

We will addresses the most interesting and important areas of contemporary bioethics. It is the first edX MOOC that is primarily directed towards students reading biomedicine and who will often end up in development and research or at biomed laboratories.
The Ethics of Biomedicine
This course is archived
Estimated 5 weeks
3–6 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed

About this course

Skip About this course
During the five weeks of our course you will look into some of the most interesting and important areas of contemporary bioethics. This course, unlike other courses in bioethics, is primarily directed towards students reading biomedicine and not only medical educations leading to a certain profession, like physicians, nurses, physiotherapists etc. The latter students often have ethical codes specific to their profession. Moreover, much of their ethical training is about ethical problems that arise in the relationship between health care professional and patient. This course is directed to the students who have scientific biomedical training as their main focus. Such students often end up in development and research or at biomedical laboratories. However, they encounter ethical questions in their professional lives as well.

Here are a few examples of the ethical questions that will be addressed during the course:

How should we use animals or humans in biomedical research? For instance, what level of risk for harm is allowed? What are the rights of privacy or autonomy of patients or research subjects?

How should we distribute the benefits and burdens of medical interventions locally and globally?

What medical tests should healthcare offer? Are the certain tests, for instance genetic tests, that should not be offered at all?

Who should get access to genetic information about an individual that results from a genetic test? Insurance companies? Employers? Researchers? Relatives?

Should we use medical interventions only to cure disease or also to improve the functioning of already healthy individuals?

In order to tackle these questions in a fruitful way, basic concepts and tools from ethics in general and bioethics in particular is an integral part of the course.

At a glance

  • Institution: KIx
  • Subject: Medicine
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Language: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
a. The basic theories, principles, and concepts within biomedical ethics.

b. How to identify ethical problems within biomedicine.

c. How to perform an analysis of an ethical problem within biomedicine.

d. How to coherently argue for and against courses of action on how to deal with an ethical problem within biomedicine.

e. How to reflect on one’s own and others’ values and norms within biomedicine.

f. What are the specific ethical issues related to medical research.

g. What are the specific ethical issues related to global justice and biomedicine.

h. What are the specific ethical issues related to drug development and biomedicine.

i. What are the specific ethical issues related to biobankning.

j. What are the specific ethical issues related to contemporary genetics and ethics.

About the instructors