85284 - Bioethics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

Students will be provided with a philosophical and legal foundation on which basis to critically assess potentially controversial ethical issues emerging out of the new situations and possibilities brought about through the advance of biology and medicine, and in particular through the development and use of genomics.

Course contents

The course will be divided into two modules.

The Bioethics module will address the main ethical, social and (partially) legal issues that characterize the current relationship between scientific data and the normative aspect. To this end, the module will be structured in two parts: in the first, it will be explored arguments and methods of bioethics; in the second part, these tools will be applied to specific issues raised from the use of genomics technology (personalized medicine and NGS, predictive medicine and genetic testing, gene therapy and genome editing). The two complementary parts aim to lead the student into the framing of bioethical problems, using the rational argumentation method in their solution.

The Intellectual Property module deals with the patent protection of invention, both under domestic and international legislation, with a specific focus on inventions in the medical and biotechnological field.


Due to the innovative nature of the course, there is no reference text book, but will be provided slide of lessons, scientific articles and supplementary teaching materials that will be made available on AMS Campus - AlmaDL


There will be also suggested texts that cover each part of the course.

Teaching methods

Teaching explanations of ethical, social and legal subject-matter will be dialogic, i.e. case studies, focus groups, interconnected with the students' particular questions, interests or requests, in order to stimulate autonomy of judgment and critical ability.

Assessment methods

The exam is oral and will focus on three/four questions for each module concerning the contents of Bioethics and Intellectual Property above specified.

Teaching tools

Lectures will also deal with National, international and European case law on the subject-matter.

Office hours

See the website of Silvia Zullo

See the website of Giorgio Spedicato