Module Database Search

Module Title
Medical Ethics
Reference BS4272 Version 6
Created February 2017 SCQF Level SCQF 10
Approved December 2012 SCQF Points 15
Amended June 2017 ECTS Points 7.5

Aims of Module
To allow students to critically appraise the core principles of biomedical ethics that underpin decision making in biomedicine, medicine, and the legal regulation of these issues.

Learning Outcomes for Module
On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:
1 Critically appraise the ethical principles underlying and justifying actions, and evaluate how these principles underlie scientific, medical and legal decision-making.
2 Demonstrate analysis of different approaches taken in selected foreign jurisdictions.
3 Critically evaluate moral objections and competing ethical arguments.

Indicative Module Content
The student will study the underpinning principles, alongside various aspects of biomedicine and medicine which are subjected to legal regulation including: abortion, pre-natal screening and claims of 'wrongful life'; use of genetic information and privacy issues; organ donation and transplantation; non-treatment of the newborn; persistent vegatative state; 'do not resuscitate' orders and living wills; active and passive euthanasia; ethical issues in research and experimentation; ownership of living and dead tissues and cadavers.

Module Delivery
This is a lecture and seminar based module. Lectures provide core module content. Seminars develop associated higher level skills through student centred learning.

Indicative Student Workload Full Time Part Time
Contact Hours 36 36
Non-Contact Hours 114 114
Placement/Work-Based Learning Experience [Notional] Hours N/A N/A
TOTAL 150 150
Actual Placement hours for professional, statutory or regulatory body    

If a major/minor model is used and box is ticked, % weightings below are indicative only [for the purposes of the Key Information Set (KIS)]
Component 1
Type: Coursework Weighting: 30% Outcomes Assessed: 1
Description: Written coursework exercise
Component 2
Type: Coursework Weighting: 70% Outcomes Assessed: 2, 3
Description: Written coursework exercise

Explanatory Text
The Module is assessed by two components: C1 - Coursework - 30% weighting. C2 - Coursework - 70% weighting. Module Pass Mark = Grade D (40%)
Module Grade Minimum Requirements to achieve Module Grade:
A At least 70% on weighted aggregate and at least 35% in each component
B At least 60% on weighted aggregate and at least 35% in each component
C At least 50% on weighted aggregate and at least 35% in each component
D At least 40% on weighted aggregate and at least 35% in each component
E At least 35% on weighted aggregate
F Less than 35% on weighted aggregate
NS Non-submission of work by published deadline or non-attendance for examination

Module Requirements
Prerequisites for Module None in addition to SCQF 10 entry requirements or equivalent.
Corequisites for module None.
Precluded Modules BS4189 Medical Law

1 BEAUCHAMP, T.L. and CHILDRESS, J.F., 2013. Principles of biomedical ethics. 7th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2 JACKSON, E., 2016. Medical law: texts, cases and materials. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
3 KEOWN, J., ed., 1997, Euthanasia examined: ethical, clinical and legal perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
4 LAURIE, G.T., HARMON, S. and PORTER, G., 2016. Mason and McCall Smith's law and medical ethics. 10th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781