HLTH433-17T3 (C) Term Three 2017

Bioethics A

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 3 July 2017
End Date: Sunday, 27 August 2017
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 14 July 2017
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 11 August 2017


This course examines frameworks for moral decision making in the health sector.

Decisions made in the delivery of health care often involve making moral choices when the ‘right’ thing to do is not immediately obvious. For example:
What should clinicians do if they prescribe a treatment that they know will save the life of the person in their care but this is refused because of a piece of popular literature that advises against it?
What should managers do when clinicians want a newly developed, expensive piece of equipment that has been shown to improve clinical outcomes but the institution they work in cannot afford it?

Bioethics is a recent phenomenon that was developed to help people make difficult decisions about health care, health research and the application of technical advances.

HLTH433 introduces students to moral frameworks that can be used to address health care related decisions in the NZ context.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course students will have an understanding of:
  • Bioethics in a global context
  • Comparative moral theory and concepts
  • The emergence of 'medical' bioethics
  • The nature of moral/ethical issues in healthcare settings
  • Critical appraisal techniques for resolving ethical dilemmas and their application


Subject to approval of the Head of School


HLTH407, HLTH607, PHIL474

Equivalent Courses

Timetable Note

(W, Th, F): July 26, 27, 28

Course Coordinator

Thomas Harding

Please contact Kathleen Liberty for enquiries as the postgraduate coordinator.

The co-ordinator and lecturer from the University of Canterbury will teach the course along with a number of guests invited from within the University, health and other sectors. Students may also attend a regional ethics committee meeting as timetabling allows. (The Southern Health and Disability Ethics Committee (SHDEC) meeting dates had not been publically notified at the time of writing).


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Discussion paper 18 Aug 2017 60% Due by 17.00.
Critical evaluation 08 Sep 2017 40% Due by 17.00.

The course is taught in accordance with University policies. Assessment information and grading system will be posted on UC LEARN2.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Berglund, Catherine Anne; Ethics for health care ; 4th ed; Oxford University Press, 2012.

Have, H. ten; Global bioethics : an introduction ;

Kuhse, Helga. , Singer, Peter; A companion to bioethics ; 2nd ed; Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Munson, Ronald; Intervention and reflection : basic issues in bioethics ; 9th ed; Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2012.

Required reading:
Topics will have assigned readings that will be referenced on LEARN2, the University’s online course support website http://www.learn.canterbury.ac.nz/, or sourced by students from the UC library databases.
Students will be required to access and download PDF files of journal articles from UC Library.

Additional Course Outline Information

Assessment and grading system

The course is taught in accordance with University policies. Assessment information and grading system will be posted on UC LEARN2.

Grading Scale
Grade    GPA Value        Marks

A+              9            90 – 100
A                8            85 – 89.99
A-               7            80 – 84.99
B+              6            75 – 79.99
B                5            70 – 74.99
B-               4            65 – 69.99
C+              3            60 – 64.99
C                2            55 – 59.99
C-               1            50 – 54.99
D                0            40 – 49.99
E               -1             0 – 39.99

A Pass is 50 marks or over

Where to submit and collect work

Students will be expected to submit their assessment via the online assessment system in the Learn class site by 5.00pm on or before the due date.  The lecturer may also ask students to submit assessment work through the software Turnitin, to check for plagiarism. If this option is available students will submit work through Turnitin and obtain a report, after submitting assignments for marking via the Learn site.

It is the responsibility of the students to check their Internet access and ability to submit their work via the online system.  Any technical difficulties should be notified well in advance of the due date so that assistance can be provided or alternative arrangements can be negotiated. If you require assistance, please email ictservicedesk@canterbury.ac.nz, or phone 366 7001 ext 6060.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,033.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Health Sciences .

All HLTH433 Occurrences

  • HLTH433-17T3 (C) Term Three 2017