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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Undergraduate Course: Social and Ethical Aspects of Medicine (BIME10013)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides aims to develop students¿ understanding of the social aspects and ethical dimensions of medicine. We shall examine how issues of life and death are shaped by contemporary medicine and biotechnology, and their implications for individual patients, their families and society at large. We will also study ethical principles significant for relationships between patients and healthcare professionals in the context of an increasingly diverse society. Specific areas of interest include reproductive medicine, care for patients with chronic illness, end of life care, genetics and biotechnology, medical research, and issues of social justice and global health.
Course description Co Course Organiser: Kenneth Boyd and Lydie Fialova
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 21, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 21, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 1, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Other Study Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 145 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Interview with Health professional
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) ICA:
An interview with health professional or health service user as the basis of a reflective report (1500 words) on social and ethical dimensions of healthcare experience (30%).

Research paper (1500 words) on a chosen topic answering a question: ¿Is it ethical to ... Why or why not?¿ This will demand a coherent and consistent analysis of an ethical dilemma in the light of various theoretical frameworks and will entail independent identification of relevant material (30%)

Final exam:
30% Students are required to answer two from a choice of six questions. Answers will entail some synthesis of material introduced during different parts of the course.
Feedback Written feedback will be provided on both in-course essays within two weeks of submission. Students are welcome to contact lecturers to discuss feedback on their work or exam performance, and informal feedback on their presentations.
Feedback from students on the course will be sought through the student/staff liaison group (see below) and questionnaires at the end of the course, but students are also encouraged to contact staff to discuss issues or suggestions as they arise.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Social and Ethical Aspects of Medicine2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the course students should have developed a critical understanding of the following and ability to apply them in a variety of contexts related to health and medicine: Social influences on how health and illness are experienced and medical care provided;
  2. Theoretical concepts of social science and philosophy relevant for understanding the role of medicine in contemporary society;
  3. Principles of medical ethics and forms of moral reasoning
Reading List
Required readings for each week are available on Learn.
Students who have not taken the Medical Sciences Health, Illness and Society 3 or MBChB Health, Ethics and Society courses may find it helpful to read the following overview on sociological approaches to health and illness ahead of the course. It is available in PDF format on Learn.
Harden, J (2013) ¿Health, Illness and the Body¿ in Punch et al (eds) Sociology: Making Sense of Society 5th edn. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited
The following texts provide useful overviews of the areas covered in the SEAM course:
Hope, T (2004) Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction Oxford: Oxford University Press
Lock, M and Nguyen, V-K (2010) Anthropology of Biomedicine Chichester : Wiley-Blackwell
Farmer, P. et al (2013) Reimagining Global Health Berkeley ; London : University of California Press
Lupton, D (2003) Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body in Western Societies London ; Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publications
Please note: all four ¿overview¿ texts are available as electronic books through the University Library (Hope, T appears in the Library catalogue as Hope, RA)
The following are key journals in the topic areas covered in SEAM:
The Journal of Medical Ethics
The Sociology of Health and Illness
Social Science and Medicine
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserMs Judith Sim
Course secretaryMiss Mary Cummings
Tel: (0131 6)51 3094
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