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HCE 551 Methodological Issues in Bioethics (3 credits)

Bioethics represents a complex intellectual phenomenon. Although an established academic field, it still struggles to find a formal ad coherent methodology for the analysis of ethical problems triggered by advances in medicine and the life sciences. The course will, first, look at the historical roots of bioethics, concentrating, in particular, upon the original contribution of theologians and, later on, of philosophers to the field. It will then, discuss the dominant theories in contemporary bioethics, among others: principlism in its various version, rights-based theories, casuistry, virtue ethics and the ethics of care.