PHIL324-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020

Bioethics: Life, Death, and Medicine

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 21 June 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 February 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 29 May 2020


Bioethics is the study of ethical problems in healthcare, medical research, and biotechnology. Bioethical problems arise every day, affecting non-human animals, people, and societies. This course covers a wide range of issues, including: research on human and non-human animals; reproductive technologies, such as surrogacy and genetic testing; and decisions about protecting, killing and letting die, including healthcare, abortion, and euthanasia. The course includes an introduction to ethical values and principles, ways of dealing with moral disagreements, and reflection on what it means for something to be worth moral consideration.

Not only is philosophy one of the most interesting and challenging subjects, it teaches skills that employers want: thinking outside the box, logic, ethics, and excellent writing and communication skills. At UC you can do either a BA or a BSc in Philosophy, or combine a Philosophy major with the LLB, BCom, or another degree.

BA or BSc students who major in philosophy must normally take at least two 100-level PHIL courses, plus at least three 200-level PHIL courses (including PHIL233), plus at least 60-points from 300-level PHIL courses (including at least one course from this list: PHIL305; PHIL310; PHIL311; and PHIL317). For more information see the BA regulations and/or the BSc regulations.

Learning Outcomes

1. An ability to explain several central problems in bioethics.
2. Knowledge of the scientific and philosophical facts that underpin problems in bioethics, and an ability to separate scientific and philosophical facts from opinions.
3. An ability to analyse problems in bioethics by identifying and evaluating the ethical issues that underlie the problem.
4. An ability to identify and think critically, but charitably, about the reasons people have for their positions on bioethical problems.
5. Critical thinking and analytical abilities, and the ability to use these skills to develop oral and written arguments about bioethics.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Any 30 points at 200 level in PHIL, LAWS, HLTH, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


Recommended Preparation

Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 13:00 - 15:00 - (23/3, 20/4, 4/5-25/5)
A6 Lecture Theatre (17/2-16/3)
17 Feb - 29 Mar
20 Apr - 26 Apr
4 May - 31 May
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 11:00 - 12:00 - (24/4-29/5)
Meremere 108 Lecture Theatre (21/2-20/3)
17 Feb - 22 Mar
20 Apr - 31 May
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 09:00 - 10:00 - (21/4, 5/5, 19/5)
Eng Core 128 Meeting Room (18/2, 3/3, 17/3)
17 Feb - 23 Feb
2 Mar - 8 Mar
16 Mar - 22 Mar
20 Apr - 26 Apr
4 May - 10 May
18 May - 24 May
02 Tuesday 09:00 - 10:00 Online Delivery (28/4, 12/5, 26/5)
Eng Core 128 Meeting Room (25/2, 10/3, 24/3)
24 Feb - 1 Mar
9 Mar - 15 Mar
23 Mar - 29 Mar
27 Apr - 3 May
11 May - 17 May
25 May - 31 May


Carolyn Mason

Contact Carolyn for further information.

Textbooks / Resources

(Image: "Refusal of treatment form" by Jacob Windham, licensed under CC BY 2.0.)

Course links

Library portal
Philosophy Essay Writing Guide (available to all enrolled Philosophy students)
Course Outline

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All PHIL324 Occurrences

  • PHIL324-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020