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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Medicine in Literature 2: Medical Ethics in Literature (ENLI10354)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the representation of medical ethics in poetry, prose and drama from the late nineteenth century to the present day, tracing the development of medical ethics from a professional code of practice to the application of ethical reasoning to decision making. The course considers literary representations of ethical dilemmas encountered by medical professionals, philosophical frameworks used to negotiate competing ethical claims, and the dynamic relationship between medical practice and the humanities.
Course description English Literature and Medicine students will have the opportunity to bring the perspectives of the humanities to bear on medical ethics; but they will also be asked to critically examine the ethical positions and perspectives espoused by literary criticism and literary texts. Medical ethical frameworks will be subject to scrutiny, but so too will the ethical frameworks developed within medical humanities. The course will appeal to students who have a particular interest in ethics, the intersections between medicine, science and literature, and the medical/health humanities. Essential readings for this course are listed on the Resource List and in the English Literature course options handbook. Topics to be covered on this course include: professional codes of conduct, situational reasoning, narrative medicine, narrative ethics, medical ethics (particularly but not only core principles), disability studies, public health and communicable disease, human subjects and human tissue, psychiatry, paternalism, autonomy, and communication.

In this course we will be discussing content that may be traumatising to some students. We believe in the importance of engaging with this material and so please rest assured that we will work with you to ensure you can participate fully and demonstrate your achievement of the learning outcomes of the course, without compromising your wellbeing or your academic development. If you have concerns at any point we invite you to approach the course organiser Dr Katherine Inglis ( to discuss how we can best support you in your work on this course. We affirm that you will be treated with dignity and respect in all discussions and at every stage of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students admitted to the intercalated BMedSci are also eligible to take this course.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 2,500 word coursework essay (40%)
Final assessment will consist of a final essay of 3,000 words for both intercalated BMedSci students and English Literature students (60%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate core skills in the study of English Literature: essay-writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning
  2. - perform textual analyses of literary texts
  3. - demonstrate competency in interdisciplinary research, evidenced by writing two essays which consider the relationship between literature, medicine, and ethics
  4. - show their understanding of the relationship between literature, medicine, and ethics, as expressed in literary texts from the late nineteenth century to the present day
  5. - show their understanding of historical developments in principlist medical ethics, narrative medicine, and narrative ethics
Reading List
The reading list for this course can be found on the course Resource List. Essential readings are highlighted.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 2-hour Seminar per week for 10 weeks; plus 1 hour(s) per week attendance at autonomous learning group at time to be arranged.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Marie Allitt
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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