A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the discipline of bioethics - starting from a brief reconstruction of the different narratives regarding its origin, scope, epistemological status, and intended purposes - necessary to pave the way for understanding and learning the core content of the course.
This is constituted by the two following modules: i) clinical ethics and ii) research ethics.
In the Clinical Ethics module the following issues will be explained and properly discussed: models of patient-physician relationship; methodologies for addressing moral dilemmas and ethical disagreement occurring in the clinical setting; clinical ethics consultation and moral case deliberation; clinical ethics committees; telling the truth to patients.
In the Research Ethics module the following issues will be explained and properly discussed: human-subject research and its ethical tenets (informed consent; principle of clinical equipoise); ethical principles as well as biding and nonbinding regulations regulating human-subject research; conventional and unconventional research; therapeutic research vs. non therapeutic research.
Expected learning outcomes
By following this course, students will gain both substantive knowledge in bioethics and reasoning skills.
In particular, as to the former, students will acquire some basic knowledge with respect to the origin, scope, epistemological status, and intended purposes of the discipline of bioethics; the distinction between moral dilemmas and ethical disagreements; fundamental bioethics approaches (teleological, deontological, and mixed-method approaches); the definition, scope, main issues of clinical ethics and research ethics.
As to the latter, students will be able to exercise critical thinking and critical reasoning with respect to bioethics issues; learn to provide justifications for their positions; learn to distinguish between a consistent and an inconsistent moral reasoning.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Didactic Activity will be offered by Microsoft Teams. All classes can be followed both synchronously based (based on the second semester schedule) and asynchronously because all Lecture will be recorded and let available to students on the same platform.
In any case, the synchronous mode is preferable and strongly recommended as it allows the active participation of students through the formulation of questions and the discussion of the topics covered.
If National Regulation and University of Milan regulations, concerning social distancing, allow it, 50% of the Lessons will be held in person and simultaneously transmitted online.
Participation in face-to-face lessons will be voluntary and strongly recommended.
Course syllabus
· General Introduction to Bioethics: origin, domains, dilemmas and disagreements, paradigmatic cases, and its epistemological status
· Ethical theories in bioethics
· An introduction to Clinical Ethics
· An introduction to Research Ethics
· The concept of vulnerability in bioethics
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge is required.
Teaching methods
The course is divided into a series of lectures, supported by Power Point presentations. During the course, students may also be asked to work divided in small groups, coordinated by the professor. In support of frontal lectures, a series of scientific papers can be also used, aimed at deepen into specific topics presented during the course.
Teaching Resources
Il programma per frequentanti risiede nel contenuto delle lezioni affrontate durante il corso, nonché nei contenuti dei due seguenti libri di testo:
· P. Becchi, "Cos'è la bioetica?", Giappichelli 2019.
· E. Furlan, "I comitati etici in sanità. Storia, funzioni, questioni filosofiche". Franco Angeli Editore, 2015

Il programma per NON frequentanti risiede nei contenuti del seguente libro di testo:
· Giovanni Boniolo, Paolo Maugeri, Etica alle frontiere della biomedicina. Per una cittadinanza consapevole. Mondadori Università, Milano 2019.

Inoltre i NON frequentati dovranno portare uno a scelta dei seguenti libri aggiuntivi a scelta:
· M. Annoni, Verità e cura: dalla diagnosi al placebo l'etica dell'inganno in medicina, ETS, collana MEFISTO, 2019.
· G. Boniolo, V. Sanchini (a cura di), "Consulenza etica e decision-making clinico. Per comprendere e agire in epoca di medicina personalizzata", Pearson 2016
· M. Reichlin, L'etica e la buona morte. Edizioni di Comunità, 2002
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment of learning takes place through the final exam, which verifies the acquisition of the knowledge and skills expected for the lessons of the integrated course through a written test lasting 1 hour. The test is based on open-end questions. The booking on the UNIMIA portal, within the dates established for each appeal, is mandatory for the examination.
M-FIL/02 - LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE - University credits: 6
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Sanchini Virginia
Educational website(s)