BIO06032 2019 Bioethics

General Details

Full Title
Bioethics
Transcript Title
Bioethics
Code
BIO06032
Attendance
N/A %
Subject Area
BIO - Bio Tech/Eng/Chem
Department
LIFE - Life Sciences
Level
06 - NFQ Level 6
Credit
05 - 05 Credits
Duration
Semester
Fee
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Author(s)
Mary Heneghan
Programme Membership
SG_SBIOM_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science SG_SMEDI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Medical Biotechnology SG_SBIOM_C06 202100 Higher Certificate in Science in Biomedical Science
Description

In this module the student will explore ethical issues in modern medical biotechnology. Students will study the challenging questions that arise at the intersection of medicine, genetic engineering, technology and ethics. The module will introduce the ethical principals and theories which inform, guide and justify best practise in biomedical research. Students will employ moral reasoning to identify potential ethical issues in “real life” scenarios. They will deepen their understanding of the ethical issues underpinning modern medical biotechnology. The module will provide knowledge on the regulatory frameworks and governance of research ethics. Students will cultivate strategies for dealing with likely challenges and issues they could face when studying or working in medical biotechnology and biomedical science.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;

1.
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of ethical issues in medical biotechnology.
2.
Identify moral aspects of various issues in contemporary biomedical science.
3.

Communicate ethical issues in a calm, rational and balanced manner in both written and oral formats. 

4.

Differentiate between reliable scientific reports and sensational media communications.

5.
Interpret existing frameworks in Ireland and the EU regulating medical biotechnologies.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time. Lecture delivery will be the primary mode of dissemination for module theory. A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be employed to promote critical and reflective thinking, as well as research and evaluation skills. Cooperative learning in small groups will give students the opportunity to work with others and see different points of view. Active learning will be developed through the use of role playing and inquiry-based learning activities.  To develop critical thinking skills, students will evaluate different literature sources (scientific papers and media reports) on the same topic and discuss the merits of each source in detail. A key focus of this module is to develop the student’s oral presentation skills. To develop their confidence in this area, students will be encouraged to take part in classroom discussions and to work in small groups to debate sensitive bioethical issues. A learning platform (such as moodle) will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals).

Module Assessment Strategies

The Bioethics module will be examined through 100% continuous assessment.  Multiple choice quizzes will assess subject knowledge while peer assessment will be employed to encourage students to think critically, synthesize information and communicate science in nontechnical language.

A key focus of this module is to develop the student's presentation skills. This will be carried out through formative and summative assessments. Formative assessment will include class room discussions on bioethical topics enabling the students to become comfortable with discussing science and sensitive issues in an informal manner. A summative assessment will be included in the form of either an ethical debate or presentation. 

Repeat Assessments

If a student fails to achieve 40% in the module they will be required to submit an assignment. Repeat assessments will be decided on a case by case basis, and will be informed by the amount and quality of continuous assessment submitted during the semester. Examples of repeat assessment could include a multiple choice quiz, case study evaluation or essay style questions on a given topic. 

Module Dependencies

Prerequisites
None
Co-requisites
None
Incompatibles
None

Indicative Syllabus

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of ethical issues in medical biotechnology.

  • The place of Ethics in Biomedical Science. Fundamental issues of Ethics and Biotechnology. 
  • Clinical trials and associated ethical issues.
  • Understand the role of ethics in research.
  • Examine the ethical questions surrounding some of the following topics:
    • Genetic Engineering 
    • Genetically Modified Crops
    • Human Genetic Testing
    • Human Reproductive Technologies
    • Stem Cell Research
    • Human Gene Therapy
    • Animal/Human Cloning
    • The use of Bioinformation
    • Personalised Medicine
    • Current/emerging bioethical issues

Identify moral aspects of various issues in contemporary biomedical science.

  • Clinical trials and associated ethical issues.
  • Understand the role of ethics and morals in research.
  • Identify moral aspects surrounding the some of the following topics:
    • Genetic Engineering 
    • Genetically Modified Crops
    • Human Genetic Testing
    • Human Reproductive Technologies
    • Stem Cell Research
    • Human Gene Therapy
    • Animal/Human Cloning
    • The use of Bioinformation
    • Personalised Medicine
    • Current/emerging bioethical issues

Communicate ethical issues in a calm, rational and balanced manner in both written and oral formats. 

  • Distinguish between Morals, Ethics and Law.
  • Study ethical principles and theories and modern bioethical approaches.
    • Deontology
    • Consequentialism
    • Utilitarianism
    •  Ethic Intuition
    • Virtue Ethics
    • Principilism
  • The role of ethical committees.
  • Presentations, class discussions and role play activities will be carried out to discuss sensitive topics in a calm, balanced and rational manner, employing the ethical principals and theories.

Differentiate between reliable scientific reports and sensational media communications.

  • Clinical trials and associated ethical issues.
  • Understand the role of ethics in research.
  • Differentiate between reliable scientific reports and sensational media communications (including videos) on a range of topics, which may include:
    • Genetic Engineering 
    • Genetically Modified Crops
    • Human Genetic Testing
    • Human Reproductive Technologies
    • Stem Cell Research
    • Human Gene Therapy
    • Animal/Human Cloning
    • The use of Bioinformation
    • Personalised Medicine
    • Current/emerging bioethical issues

Interpret existing frameworks in Ireland and the EU regulating medical biotechnologies.

  • Study and interpret existing Regulatory Frameworks for some of the following topics:
    • Genetically Modified Organisms
    • Stem Cell research
    • Human and Animal Reproductive medicine
    • Human genetic testing
    • Food Biotechnology products
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Current/emerging bioethical issues

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Project Presentation/Debate Continuous Assessment Individual Project 30 % Week 9 2,3,4
2 Multiple Choice Continuous Assessment Multiple Choice 30 % Week 13 1,5
3 Clinical Trial Assessment Continuous Assessment Assessment 25 % Week 3 3,4,5
4 Research ethics Continuous Assessment Assessment 15 % Week 5 1,2,3

Full Time Mode Workload


Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Tiered Classroom Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Group Learning Tiered Classroom Group Learning 1 Weekly 1.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self Study 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2012-05-17 Bioethics Cambridge University Press
ISBN 0521714591 ISBN-13 9780521714594

Providing readers with the confidence needed to debate key issues in bioethics, this introductory text clearly explains bioethical theories and their philosophical foundations. Over 250 activities introduce topics for personal reflection, and discussion points encourage students to think for themselves and build their own arguments. Highlighting the potential pitfalls for those new to bioethics, each chapter features boxes providing factual information and outlining the philosophical background, along with detailed case studies that offer an insight into real-life examples of bioethical problems. Within-chapter essay questions and quizzes, along with end-of-chapter review questions, allow students to check their understanding and to broaden their thinking about the topics discussed. The accompanying podcasts by the author (two of whose podcasts on iTunesU(TM) have attracted over 3 million downloads) explain points that might be difficult for beginners. These, along with a range of extra resources for students and instructors, are available at www.cambridge.org/bioethics.

Recommended Reading
2014-07-11 Human Subjects Research Regulation MIT Press
ISBN 9780262027465 ISBN-13 0262027461

Experts from different disciplines offer novel ideas for improving research oversight and protection of human subjects.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Additional reading and resources will be recommended by the lecturer.

Journal Resources

Additional reading and resources will be recommended by the lecturer.

URL Resources

Nuffield Council on bioethics: http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/

Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA): http://www.hpra.ie/

Other Resources

None

Additional Information

None