Law and bioethics

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide a knowledge of the Italian legislation on bioethical issues, and to investigate, also through comparative analysis, the legal and ethical problems and related to them, in order develop an autonomous critical judgement. The course will deal with topics such as medically assisted procreation, genetic engineering, voluntary interruption of pregnancy, interruption of medical treatment, medical ethics, and euthanasia.
Expected learning outcomes
- Knowledge and understanding of the Italian law on bioethical issues and the related ethical and legal problems
- Ability to apply the tools of bio-legal analysis to new legislations, new technical innovations and case law
- Critical judgment acquired through practical tests and written reports
- Development of a communication skill and excellent mastery of the concepts related to bio-legal problems, acquired through discussions and group work
- Independent learning acquired by managing the ethical and legal tools related to bioethical issues
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
If the emergency continues, the lessons will be held on Microsoft Teams at the established times, and will be recorded and available on the same platform. Information on how to access Microsoft Teams lessons and other teaching instructions will be uploaded to ARIEL website, which it to be consulted regularly.
If the health situation allows it, in compliance with the current regulations, the lessons can also be held in the classroom (mixed mode); students will be promptly informed via ARIEL website.
The records of the will be available to students up the end of the semester.
Since attending the lessons is not mandatory, all those who view the lessons will be considered as attending students.

The procedures for verifying learning and the assessment criteria will not be subject to changes.
The exam will take place orally on the Microsoft Teams platform.
If the health situation allows it, compatibly with the availability of the classrooms and compliance with the necessary safety conditions, the exam will take place in the classroom.
In any case, the possibility of carrying out the exam remotely will be ensured for students who are unable to move to the University.
Further information will be provided on Ariel website.
Course syllabus
Early life issues (medically assisted procreation, surrogacy, voluntary interruption of pregnancy, stem cells, cloning), medical ethics (medical liability, informed consent, gene-editing and genetic engineering), end-of-life issues (transplants, treatment interruption, euthanasia, assisted suicide).
Prerequisites for admission
There are no specific prerequisites
Teaching methods
Lectures, group exercises, reports on innovative topics.
Teaching Resources
Attending students
Bibliography available online (, that will be indicated at the first lesson.
Not-Attending students
(1) F. Poggi (a cura di), Diritto e bioetica, Carocci, Roma, 2013.
(2) G. Cricenti, I giudici e la bioetica, Carocci, Roma, 2017.
(3) A. Santosuosso, Diritto, scienza, nuove tecnologie, CEDAM, Milano, II ed., 2016, limitatamente ai capitoli 3, 4, 5, 6 e 7.
(4) The following statutes are integral part of the examination program: (i) Legge 1 aprile 1999, n. 91, "Disposizioni in materia di prelievi e di trapianti di organi e di tessuti"; (ii) Legge 19 febbraio 2004, n. 40, "Norme in materia di procreazione medicalmente assistita"; (iii) Legge 22 dicembre 2017, n. 219, "Norme in materia di consenso informato e di disposizioni anticipate di trattamento".

40, "Norme in materia di procreazione medicalmente assistita".
Assessment methods and Criteria
Attending students: oral exam or (optionally) two intermediate tests consisting of written reports, plus a final oral exam.
Not-attending students: oral exam
Evaluation criteria: exposition quality; ability to organize knowledge; ability to manage the concepts and methods bioethical discussions and to apply them to new legal problems and technological innovations.
IUS/20 - PHILOSOPHY OF LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Poggi Francesca