Ethics in Biomedicine

The bioethics programme offers courses adapted to a wide range of students: MDs, biologists, philosophers, neuroscientists, etc. The programme is designed to provide a broad range of courses for students of all ages and backgrounds. Our main objectives are (1) to raise students' awareness of the multiplicity of moral issues in medicine and life sciences, especially those that arise in medical practice, in contemporary society, or that are generated by scientific advances, (2) to provide conceptual tools for autonomous and reflective moral assessment and decision-making, i.e. that goes beyond mere intuitive reactions, in the face of these issues, and (3) to foster interdisciplinary reflection and openness to the contributions of different fields of scientific research on these issues.

Full list of courses

Courses taught in English

Science and Ethics: Inputs from Neuroscience, Genetics and Evolution (Christine Clavien & Samia Hurst)

For centuries, philosophers have discussed the link between ethics and natural facts, especially those that pertain to human nature. These debates are presently taking a new turn, as neuroscience, genetics, evolutionary modeling, and cognitive sciences provide fresh insights into the biological basis of human cognition, emotion, and decision-making. Thus scientific knowledge becomes increasingly relevant to our understanding of moral judgements and behavior. Simultaneously, new discoveries in neuroscience and genetics raise unprecedented ethical issues: e.g. related to the use of technologies and drugs that alter human cognition or character, or related to the relevance of scientific expertise for judicial decision making.  In this course, along a series of invited conferences, we will explore how ethics is transformed by recent scientific knowledge.

Course open to students from all faculties – Spring sem., Thursday, 10h15-12h, CMU – Moodle

Ethics and biomedical research (Samia Hurst)

This course will provide an introduction to ethics and regulation of biomedical research with human participants and animal research. We will introduce students to fundamental principles in research ethics and their application, as well as to ongoing controversies. Organizational components of ethical and unethical behavior will be addressed to familiarize students with the risks associated with research conducted within human groups and institutions.

This english-language course is open to all students. Thursdays 2:15 - 4 pm, spring semester.