University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name


  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Biology, Ethics, Health Administration, Human Rights

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    240 points (including 72 200-level points) - must have completed 2 full years of undergraduate study

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Ethical issues in health care, medicine and biotechnology. Fundamental ethical concepts such as value of life, individual freedom, justice, cultural differences and universal moral values.

    Is euthanasia morally justifiable? Should self-harm be medically treated? What is just healthcare? Why did wartime medical atrocities occur? The paper explores these questions and a wide range of other bioethical topics from the beginning of life to the end of life and from patient-physician relationships to global matters. It also examines the key bioethical principles and concepts such as value of life, informed consent, freedom, beneficence, justice, cultural diversity and universal morality.

    Course Structure
    The paper consists of 5 parts:
    - Foundation and Context
    - Healthcare Ethics
    - At the Beginning of Life
    - At the End of Life
    - Cross-Cultural and Global Issues

    Learning Outcomes
    Students will have become familiar with the ethical issues involved in a range of bioethical topics and the key bioethical values or principles and their application and will have further cultivated moral sensitivity as well as abilities and skills of:
    - Critical thinking
    - Interdisciplinary dialogue
    - Identifying and analysing bioethical issues
    - Articulating thoughts and reasoning with evidence and coherent arguments

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.