PHIL324-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Bioethics: Life, Death, and Medicine

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


Bioethics is the study of ethical problems in healthcare, research, technology and the environment. Bioethical problems arise every day, affecting societies, people and non-human animals. This course covers a wide range of issues, including: research on human and non-human animals; reproductive technologies, such as surrogacy and genetic testing; the use of data to monitor and control human actions; conflicts between privacy and autonomy and the public good, 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.


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 2021

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 13:00 - 15:00 A5 Lecture Theatre
19 Jul - 29 Aug
13 Sep - 24 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 13:00 - 14:00 Jack Erskine 240
26 Jul - 29 Aug
13 Sep - 24 Oct


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 $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All PHIL324 Occurrences

  • PHIL324-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021
  • PHIL324-21S2 (D) Semester Two 2021 (Distance)