Course: Bioethics II

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Course title Bioethics II
Course code KBD/QBE
Organizational form of instruction Lecture
Level of course Master
Year of study 2
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 4
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course Compulsory-optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
Lecturer(s)
  • Machula Tomáš, prof. Ph.D., Th.D.
  • Šimek Vojtěch, PhDr. Th.D.
Course content
1. Introduction to the problematic: bioethics as a sub-discipline of applied ethics, two extensions of bioethics and their subject (behaviour affecting human and non-human life), the technical imperative (are we allowed to everything we can do technically?), bioethical methods and points of departure (theories, principles), bioethically relevant spheres of human practice with respect to human and non-human life. 2. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting non-human life I.: Pollution of the environment, exploitation of nature and protection of plant and animal species. Ethical questions related to protection of nature and biodiversity. Why should we be considerate of nature? 3. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting non-human life II.: Inherent value of non-human life and nature. Moral status and rights of animals and other organisms. Moral respect. Strategies of widening the sphere of respect. 4. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting non-human life III.: Animal as a means of sustenance and agricultural exploitation. Domestication and breeding. Providing for basic needs. The question of instrumentalisation and killing of animals. 5. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting non-human life IV.: Experiments on animals and xenotransplantation as ways of exploitation of animals. Individual positions, evaluation and the question of weighing values. Genetic manipulation and modification of organisms and animals, transgenic animals. 6. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting non-human life V.: Animals as friends and helpers. Therapeutic role of animals. On the history of friendly relations of humans and animals. Animals as objects of entertainment. Wild animals in captivity. Questions concerning practice affecting animals in circuses, Zoos etc.. 7. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting human life I.: Medical ethics and basic conditions of therapeutic relationships. Asymmetric relationship of doctor and patient. Autonomy of the patient. Informed consent. Principles for medical practice. Different models of relationship of doctor and patient. Patient who cannot decide. Therapeutic relationships. Ethical commissions and ethical advisory institutions. 8. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting human life II.: Significance of human sexuality. Reproductive medicine. Donation of gametes. Beginning of human life. The personal principle. Pre-implantation diagnostics. Moral status of human embryo. Stemm cells acquisition and embryo-destructive research. The issue of ?natural vs. artificial?. 9. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting human life III.: Research of human life, historical landmarks. Ethical norms in the context of biomedical research. Presuppositions of research and the part played by ethical commissions. Genetic research, genetic diagnostics and eugenics. Genetic therapy. 10. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting human life IV.: Contraception. Pre-natal diagnostics. Natural and artificial abortion, history and ways of evaluation. Political and ethical controversies. Is artificial abortion morally defendable? 11. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting human life V.: Suicide. Philosophical reflection in historical and cultural context. Ways of suicide. Is it reasonable and moral to kill oneself? Preventing suicide. The problem of assisted suicide. Death penalty. 12. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting human life VI.: End of human life. Significance of mortality. Euthanasia. Kinds of euthanasia. Ethical aspects and evaluation of euthanasia. The right to a natural death. Palliative care. 13. Bioethical dimension of practice affecting human life VII.: Death of brain, historical background, starting question and definition. Transplant medicine as high-tech medicine and as established process of medical care. The problem of lack of organs and their removal. Autonomy of donors. Business or donorship? 14. Summary, revision.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic (reading, lecture, briefing), Dialogic (discussion, interview, brainstorming)
  • Class attendance - 16 hours per semester
  • Preparation for credit - 30 hours per semester
  • Semestral paper - 30 hours per semester
  • Preparation for classes - 40 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
To present bioethics as a sub-discipline of applied ethics, focusing on the analysis and evaluation of human practice affecting both human and non-human life. Students will be introduced to the main spheres of bioethically relevant human practice and will be encouraged to identify, analyze and evaluate its moral dimension.
The student knows more advanced issues of bioethics and is able to independent reflections and arguments in this field.
Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of KBD/BIOET. KBD/BE follows up of KBD/BIOET and extends it.

Assessment methods and criteria
Colloquium, Test

The student will prepare and present (at the beginning of lecture on set date) a 20-30 minute presentation on a topic arranged with the lecturer, which concerns the subject. The student must also pass the final test.
Recommended literature
  • Výukový materiál přednášejícího.
  • Drozenová, W. (ed.). Etika vědy v České republice: Od historických kořenů k současné bioetice. Praha: Filosofia, 2010.
  • Ondok, J. P. Bioetika, biotechnologie a biomedicína. Praha: Triton, 2005.
  • Stoecker, R., Neuhäuser Ch., Raters, M. L. (Hrsg.). Handbuch Angewandte Ethi. Stuttgart-Weimar: J.B. Metzler, 2011.
  • Vácha, M. Místo, na němž stojíš, je posvátná země: O kruhu úcty k člověku, přírodě a celému vesmíru. Brno: Cesta, 2008.


Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Category of Branch/Specialization Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty: Faculty of Agriculture and Technology Study plan (Version): Biology and protection of "hobby" organisms (2019) Category: Agriculture and forestry 2 Recommended year of study:2, Recommended semester: Winter
Faculty: Faculty of Agriculture and Technology Study plan (Version): Biology and protection of "hobby" organisms (2013) Category: Agriculture and forestry 2 Recommended year of study:2, Recommended semester: Winter