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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module explores contemporary issues in bioethics. In particular it considers in detail the philosophical and theological principles of bioethics as well as pertinent ethical issues resulting from the interface between science and technology and its application in medical care.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of a number of critical contemporary bioethical issues from a philosophical and theological perspective.
2. Engage and discuss a variety of ethical questions and issues relating to the fields of health care and biomedical research, supported by relevant philosophical/theological foundations and ethical sources.
3. Identify and evaluate a range of potential moral viewpoints and arguments regarding bioethical questions, within the context of pluralistic society.
4. Develop their research skills in bioethics and associated areas.
5. Further their knowledge and reflection in bioethics within the context of teaching of Religious Education/Studies.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Four Principles of Bioethics (Beauchamp & Childress)

Theological Principles of Bioethics

Reproductive Technologies

Abortion & Personhood

Stem-Cell Research/Genetics

Withholding/withdrawing Treatment

Euthanasia & Physician-Assisted Suicide

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Ashley, B. M. & O’Rourke, K. D.: 2006, Health Care Ethics: A Theological Analysis (5th Edition), Georgetown University Press, Washington,
  • Beauchamp, T. L. and Childress, J. F.: 2013, The Principles of Biomedical Ethics (7th Edition), 7th edn, Oxford University Press, New York,
  • Ashcroft, R. E., Dawson, A., Draper, H., McMillan, J. (eds): 2007, Principles of Health Care Ethics, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester,
  • Barry, Vincent E.: 2012, Bioethics in a Cultural Context: Philosophy, Religion, History, Politics, Wadsworth, Boston,
  • Brody, Howard: 2009, The Future of Bioethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Bryant, J. A.: 2005, Introduction to Bioethics, Wiley, Chichester,
  • Caplan, Arthur L. and Arp, Robert (eds): 2014, Contemporary Debates in Bioethics, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester,
  • Corkery, Pádraig: 2010, Bioethics and the Catholic moral tradition, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Deane-Drummond, C. (ed.): 2006, Genetics and Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Engelhardt, H. T.: 2000, The Foundations of Christian Bioethics, Swets & Zeitlinger, Exton,
  • Ferber, Sarah: 2013, Bioethics in Historical Perspective, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke,
  • Fisher, Anthony: 2011, Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium, Cambridge University Press, New York,
  • Gill, R.: 2006, Health Care and Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Kearns, A. J.: 2007, The Concept of Person in a World Mediated by Meaning and Constituted by Significance, Pneuma Springs, Kent,
  • Kelly, David F.,Gerard Magill, Gerard, and Have, H. Ten: 2013, Contemporary Catholic Health Care Ethics, 2nd edn, Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC,
  • Kuhse, Helga and Singer, Peter (eds): 2016, Bioethics: An Anthology, 3rd edn, Wiley Blackwell, Chichester,
  • Lysaught, M. Therese and McCarthy, Michael: 2018, Catholic bioethics and social justice: The praxis of US health care in a globalized world, Liturgical Press Academic, Collegeville, Minnesota,
  • McDonagh, Enda; MacNamara, Vincent: 2013, An Irish Reader in Moral Theology: The Legacy of the Last Fifty Years: Volume 3: Medical and bio-Ethics, The Columba Press, Dublin,
  • Macaleer, R. Dennis: 2014, The New Testament and Bioethics: Theology and Basic Bioethics Principles, Pickwick Publication,
  • May, W. E.: 2013, Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life (3rd Edition), Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington,
  • Meilaender, G.: 2005, Bioethics: A Primer for Christians, W.B. Eerdmans, Cambridge,
  • Messer, Neil: 2013, Flourishing: Health, Disease, and Bioethics in Theological Perspective, William B. Eerdmans,
  • Moskop, John C.: 2016, Ethics and Health Care: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Murphy, Pádraig: 2017, Biotechnology, Education and Life Politics: Debating Genetic Futures from School to Society, Routledge, London,
  • Preece, G. (ed.): 2002, Rethinking Peter Singer: A Christian Critique, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove,
  • Scott, P. Anne: 2017, Key Concepts and Issues in Nursing Ethics, Springer,
  • Shapshay, Sandra: 2009, Bioethics at the Movies, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore,
  • Singer, Peter; Grabel, Laura; Gruen, Lori: 2007, Stem cell research: The ethical issues, Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Singer, Peter A. and Viens, A.M. (eds.): 2008, The Cambridge Textbook of Bioethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Steinbock, Bonnie (ed.): 2009, The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Talbot, Marianne: 2012, Bioethics: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
Other Resources

40931, E-Journal, 0, Bioethics, 40932, E-Journal, 0, Christian Bioethics, 40933, E-Journal, 0, Journal of Medicine & Philosophy, 40934, E-Journal, 0, BMC Medical Ethics, 40935, E-Journal, 0, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 40936, E-Journal, 0, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 40937, E-Journal, 0, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal,
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