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Unit of study_

HPSC1000: Bioethics

2024 unit information

Science has given us nearly infinite possibilities for controlling life. Scientists probe the origins of life through research with stem cells and embryos. To unlock the secrets of disease, biomedicine conducts cruel experiments on animals. GM crops are presented as the answer to hunger. Organ transplantation is almost routine. The international traffic in human body parts and tissues is thriving. The concept of brain death makes harvesting organs ethically more acceptable. It may also result in fundamental changes in our ideas about life. Science has provided new ways of controlling and manipulating life and death. As a consequence, difficult ethical questions are raised in increasingly complex cultural and social environments. This course will discuss major issues in the ethics of biology and medicine, from gene modification to Dolly the sheep. This unit will be introductory, but a small number of topical issues will be studied in depth. No scientific background beyond Year 10 level will be assumed.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations

Code HPSC1000
Academic unit History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations
Credit points 6
Prerequisites:
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None
Corequisites:
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None
Prohibitions:
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HPSC1900
Assumed knowledge:
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None

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. recognise and describe key ethical issues that arise in the biological sciences and in medicine
  • LO2. pose critical questions about episodes in science where ethical issues are at stake
  • LO3. pose well-defended arguments (both written and verbal) in favour of particular positions in current ethical debates in science
  • LO4. evaluate the relative merits of competing ethical arguments and appreciate the complexity of ethical situations
  • LO5. critically reflect on how values influence your interactions with the biological sciences and medicine, and your personal responsibilities as a future scientist, clinician, citizen, patient, or consumer of science.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive February 2024
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive January 2020
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Intensive June 2020
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2021
Normal day Remote
Intensive February 2021
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive February 2021
Block mode Remote
Intensive June 2021
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive June 2021
Block mode Remote
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Remote
Intensive February 2022
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive February 2022
Block mode Remote
Intensive June 2022
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive June 2022
Block mode Remote
Semester 1 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2023
Normal day Remote
Intensive February 2023
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive February 2023
Block mode Remote
Intensive June 2023
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive June 2023
Block mode Remote

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.

Important enrolment information

Additional advice

This Junior unit of study is highly recommended to Intermediate and Senior Life Sciences students.