37469 - Applied Ethics: Bioethics and Professional Ethics

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Quality education Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Introduction to the main contemporary ethical theories. Study of the fundamental aspects of applied ethics, with particular attention to, inter alia, bioethics, biolaw, and professional ethics.

Course contents

The course is divided into two modules.

In the first module (Ethics of the professions), held by Prof. Stefania Pellegrini, the aim is to reflect on the current theme of the relationship between ethics and the world of work and the professions. The increased complexity of the world and, consequently, of the knowledge surrounding it, has led to an ever greater functional specialisation of work, so much so that today we are witnessing a hyper-specialisation in the various sectors of culture on the part of an apparatus of professionals who act as intermediaries between it and citizens, exponentially increasing their responsibility linked to the role they play. The course will start from the concept of social role to continue with an analysis of the essence of social responsibility, with particular attention to the legal professions, specifically the judiciary and lawyers.

In the second module (Bioethics), held by Prof. Silvia Zullo, the aim is to deepen the knowledge of the fundamental ethical and legal notions related to bioethics and law in their evolution up to the contemporary debate. The student will be introduced to the study of the normative dimension and moral dilemmas of public relevance raised by technological innovation in biomedicine and in general by the sciences applied to life. Particular attention will be devoted to the ethical-legal profiles raised by the most emblematic cases in the contemporary bioethical-legal debate in relation to issues of the beginning of life, doctor-patient relationship, genetics between autonomy and responsibility, end of life. In this regard, the student will be able to achieve: a critical knowledge of the main concepts of bioethics, both historical and theoretical, as well as of the most relevant legal controversies in this field; the ability to formulate a rational judgment on ethically sensitive issues; the ability to identify ethical principles and legal norms that characterize autonomy and responsibility in professional and social life; the ability to apply methodologies to read texts.

 

Module I_ Ethics of the professions

- The concept of role

- Social responsibility

- Professional and social responsibility

- Historical models of the judiciary

- The evolution of ethical principles in the judiciary

- Judiciary and mass media

- The role of the lawyer between functionalist and conflictualist perspectives

- Advocacy and process

- Lawyers and "grey zone". Ethics as an instrument of containment



II module_Bioethics

- Fundamentals of applied ethics

- Normative ethics between rules and principles

- History of bioethics

- Bioethics and law

- Sources of biolaw

- Practical conflicts: the reasons of science, ethics and law

- The beginning of life (voluntary interruption of pregnancy, medically assisted procreation, surrogacy)

- The doctor-patient relationship (information and consent, the right to health and refusal of treatment, predictive medicine and the right to know or not to know)

- The end of life (euthanasia, assisted suicide, vegetative state, palliative care)

 

Readings/Bibliography

Ethics of the professions

The student may choose option (I) or alternatively option (II):

Option (I)

- S. Pellegrini, Professione giustizia. Giuristi tra etica professionale e responsabilità' di ruolo, CEDAM, 2013, chapters 1, 2, 3 (mandatory chapters).

- In addition chap. 4 (advocacy).

Option (II)

- S. Pellegrini, Professione giustizia. Giuristi tra etica professionale e responsabilità' di ruolo, CEDAM, 2013, chapters 1, 2, 3 (required chapters).

- In addition chap. 5 (judiciary).

Bioethics

1) Manual part

The student can choose option (I) or alternatively option (II) or option (III):

Option (I)

Beginning of life

- P. Borsellino, Bioetica tra "morali" e diritto, Raffaello Cortina, New ed. update, Milano 2018, chapters 1-2-7 (just pp. 303-312)-8-9.


- C. Faralli, Bioetica e biodiritto. Problemi, casi e materiali, second Ed., Giappichelli, Torino, 2018 (available in E-book PDF format here: https://www.giappichelli.it/bioetica-e-biodiritto-21818, pp. 6-97.

Option (II)

Doctor-patient relationship

- P. Borsellino, Bioetica tra "morali" e diritto, Raffaello Cortina, New ed. update, Milano 2018, chapters 1-2-3-4-5 (ch. 3 or ch. 4 or ch. 5 may be replaced by ch. 7. pp. 263-303).

- C. Faralli, Bioetica e biodiritto. Problemi, casi e materiali, Second Ed., Giappichelli, Torino, 2018 (available in E-book PDF format here: http://www.giappichelli.it/bioetica-e-biodiritto,3484973 ), pp. 98-173.

Option (III)

End of life

- P. Borsellino, Bioetica tra "morali" e diritto, Raffaello Cortina, New ed. update, Milano 2018, chapters 1-2-10-11-12.

- C. Faralli, Bioetica e biodiritto. Problemi, casi e materiali, second Ed., Giappichelli, Torino, 2018 (available in E-book PDF format here: http://www.giappichelli.it/bioetica-e-biodiritto,3484973 ), pp. 174-249.

2) For further reading

In order to deepen the topics of the course, we suggest to consult:

M. Reichlin, Fondamenti di bioetica, il Mulino, 2021.

M. Balistreri, G. Capranico, M. Galletti, S. Zullo (eds.), Biotecnologie e modificazioni genetica. Scienze, etica, diritto, Mulino, Bologna, 2020.

D. Canale, Conflitti pratici. Quando il diritto diventa immorale, Laterza, 2017.

F. Poggi (ed.), Diritto e Bioetica, Carocci, Roma 2013.

C. Casonato, Introduzione al biodiritto, Torino, Giappichelli, 2012.

E. Lecaldano, Dizionario di bioetica, Laterza 2007.



N.B. The indicated programme is also valid for Erasmus students, who can agree with the teachers some variations in the choice of texts.

The course is borrowed from the School of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Degree Course in Applied Cognitive Psychology, for a total of 6 credits. Students of applied cognitive psychology will only have to prepare the texts foreseen for the bioethics section, following options I, II, III (see the web page dedicated to the Applied Ethics course of the School of Psychology and Education Sciences - Master's Degree in Applied Cognitive Psychology).


Teaching methods

The course includes lectures, but the mode of delivery will be determined by the decisions of the University bodies regarding the COVID-19 emergency.

Lectures will be held in the first semester. Students are invited to consult the website www.giuri.unibo.it for class times and locations.

Assessment methods

The exam will be exclusively oral and will aim to verify the student's adequate acquisition of knowledge in accordance with the course objectives, with reference, for the Ethics of the Professions Module, to the concepts of the role and social responsibilities of the legal professions, specifically the judiciary and the legal profession, and, for the Bioethics Module, to a topic chosen by the student in relation to the main issues of medical bioethics in the context of contemporary debate.


The examination consists of an interview with the lecturer and the chair's collaborators on the topics covered by the course programme.

In addition, the assessment of the test will be carried out taking into account

- the knowledge of the institutional profiles

- the ability to analyse jurisprudential and doctrinal orientations;

- the ability to make connections between the different parts of the programme;

- the ability to develop critical arguments;

- the articulation of the exposition;

- the accuracy of the exposition;

- accuracy in the use of context-specific terminology. 

Specifically, in order to assign the final mark, expressed in thirtieths and resulting from the balance of the marks obtained in each of the two modules, the following assessment criteria will be taken into account

- knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles of the subject and the institutes covered by the question and the level of depth of study (50%);

- ability to make connections between the different parts of the programme, ability to analyse critically the topics covered by the examination questions and ability to apply them to concrete cases (20%);

- appropriate use of the specific vocabulary, the candidate's ability to expound, ability to analyse and evaluate relevant sources and acquisition of the study method (30%).

Registration for the final examination must be carried out using the Almaesami application (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm ).


DEGREE THESES

Theses in this subject will only be assigned to students who have included this course in their study plan, in order to acquire the basic preparation necessary to develop the thesis from a critical and adequately in-depth perspective.

Teaching tools

Jurisprudential materials and in-depth handouts with reading and commentary on the texts. All information relating to the course and any communications from the lecturers, as well as any supplementary teaching materials, will be available online on the lecturers' web pages.

Students who, for reasons dependent on disabilities or specific learning disorders (DSA), need compensatory tools can inform the teacher of their needs in order to be directed to the contact persons and agree on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Pellegrini

See the website of Silvia Zullo