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Philosophy (PHIL) 335

Biomedical Ethics (Revision 1)

PHIL 335 course cover

Revision 1 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PHIL 335 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course provides an introduction to selected ethical problems associated with health and health care in Canada and more globally. For instance, how should we allocate resources to health care, as compared with other initiatives influencing our health at the population level (education, social services, preventive public health measures)? What is the character of morally appropriate therapeutic relationships? How should we regulate new reproductive technologies? What particular moral problems are associated with abortion, euthanasia, and research on human subjects? Students will become familiar with traditional ethical theories and some recent challenges to them. Through readings, cases, and written work, students will learn to consider applications of theoretical approaches to current moral dilemmas in health and health care, and will develop skills necessary to critically analyse new developments.


Unit 1: Introduction: Ethical Dimensions of Health and Health Care

Unit 2: Ethical Theory and Moral Reasoning

Unit 3: Resource Allocation

Unit 4: Health Care Relationships

Unit 5: Informed Consent

Unit 6: Ethical Dimensions of Research on Humans

Unit 7: Abortion

Unit 8: Reproduction and Genetics

Unit 9: Death and Dying

Unit 10: Broadening the Agenda of Health Ethics


To receive credit for PHIL 335, you must submit every piece of written work and achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Tutor-marked Exercise Case Study Final Examination Total
20% 40% 40% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Boetzkes, Elisabeth and Wilfrid J. Waluchow, eds. 2000. Readings in Health Care Ethics. Peterborough: Broadview Press.

Other Materials

The course materials include a study guide, a student manual and a reading file.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PHIL 335 challenge registration, you must achieve an overall grade of at least “D” (50 percent).

Case Study Final Exam Total
40% 60% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, February 27, 2004.


Last updated by SAS  07/07/2014 16:42:09