Universitat Internacional de Catalunya


First semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff

Dra Begoña Bosch: bbosch@uic.es

Dr Ignacio Macpherson: imacpherson@uic.es

Dr Mauricio Pacheco: mpacheco@uic.es

Dr Ignasi Belda: ibeldar@uic.es



Technological advances have created new scenarios for all professionals in health sciences and have raised great hopes of making concrete improvements to human lives and the future of mankind. However, in both clinical practice and scientific research and management, problems and questions of an ethical nature frequently arise. Such questions clearly show the need for a constant and integrated relationship between technical and ethical matters, to ensure new knowledge is acquired in a manner that ensures the best for people who are in vulnerable situations. To offer a full professional, technical and scientific education, is not enough only to teach Biomedical Science, and an ethical dimension must be included.

The Bioethics course aims to reflect on the value of human life, the respect it deserves and its relationship to good health. It is based on principles that should inspire good conduct in Biomedical Science, in order to integrate the actions that arise in daily practice, while providing the necessary awareness of human rights and the main health regulations governing the profession.

Training in Bioethics aims to provide students in Biomedical Science with knowledge and specific training that will educate and guide them, not only to make the best decisions in situations that are considered limited, but also to know how to act in numerous situations that arise in daily practice.

Pre-course requirements

Students are recommended to have passed Anthropology.


  • To develop the ability to think about and discuss ethical issues based on an analysis of the present situation.
  • To provide the conceptual tools so students understand the importance of acquiring the principles and fundamental values of ethics in personal and professional care.
  • To demonstrate the meaning and value of the fundamental principle of human dignity, particularly in areas related to illness or other vulnerable situations, while taking into consideration both the physical and mental limitations of the person.
  • To demonstrate the importance of interpersonal communication in the context of the therapeutic relationship.
  • To explain the basics of professional health legislation.
  • To analyse and discuss the important implications of social and cultural diversity in understanding health.


  • CB3: Students have the ability to collect and interpret relevant data (usually within their area of study) to make judgments that include a reflection on relevant social, scientific or ethical issues.
  • CB4: Students can transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to a specialized and non-specialized audience.
  • CG4: Solve problems with initiative, decision making, creativity, critical and communication reasoning, and the transmission of knowledge, abilities and skills in the field of Bioengineering.
  • CG10: Know how to work in a multilingual and multidisciplinary environment.
  • CT3: Know how to communicate orally and in writing with other people about the results of learning, of the elaboration of thought and of decision making; participate in debates on topics of their own specialty.
  • CT4: Being able to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team, either as a member or performing management tasks, in order to contribute to developing projects with pragmatism and a sense of responsibility, assuming commitments taking into account the available resources
  • CE8: Dialogue in a critical spirit about ideas related to the human being and its main dimensions.

Learning outcomes

  • To make decisions by introducing ethics as a variable for reflection.
  • To have the ability to express ideas freely without violating or offending others.
  • To understand the role and responsibility of science and technology in today's society.



  • Rational foundations of ethics
  • Human consciousness
  • Human action
  • Virtues and values
  • The ethics of social life


  • Law and rights
  • Moral law
  • The distinction between morality and legality
  • Human rights
  • Legislation of clinical practice
  • Protection of personal data and confidentiality
  • Conflicts of interest 



  • Methodological principles of ethical decisions
  • History of Bioethics
  • Research Ethics: preclinical and clinical
  • The beginning of human life
  • Fragile life ethics
  • Term of human life
  • Research Ethics

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The course is usually taught through theoretical sessions (lectures) and practical sessions, both offered in person. The content of the lectures will consist of the main topics and concepts in the units detailed in the course syllabus. Practical classes will be based mainly on carrying out group work and a practical assignment, in which current cases will be analysed and debated in order to illustrate and deepen the concepts explained earlier. 

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The pass mark for the Bioethics course is 5. The overall mark is obtained through the weighted average of four activities:

a) Continuous evaluation (25%): resolution of cases in the master classes (in person).

b) Practical work (15%): written part and oral part (in person).

c) Partial exam (20%): written (in person).

d) Final exam (40%):  written (in person).

*  The minimum grade for each part to pass the course must be higher than 5.

Important considerations:

  1. Plagiarism, copying or any other action that may be considered cheating will be zero in that evaluation section. Besides, plagiarism during exams will mean the immediate failing of the whole subject.
  2. In the second-sitting exams, the maximum grade students will be able to obtain is "Excellent" (grade with honors distinction will not be possible).
  3. Changes of the calendar, exam dates or the evaluation system will not be accepted.
  4. Exchange students (Erasmus and others) or repeaters will be subjected to the same conditions as the rest of the students.

Bibliography and resources


  • POLAINO, A., Manual de Bioética General, Rialp, 2000.
  • CICCONE, L.; Bioética. Historia. Principios. Cuestiones. Palabra, Madrid, 2005.
  • SGRECCIA, E., Manual de Bioética I: Fundamentos y Bioética Biomédica, BAC, 2010.


  • ABEL, F., Bioética: orígenes, presente y futuro, Madrid, Institut Borja de Bioética, Fundación Mapfre medicina, reimp., 2001.
  • BEAUCHAMPS, T.L., CHILDRESS, F. J., Principios de Bioética Biomédica, Barcelona, Mason 4ª ed., 2000.
  • BLAZQUEZ, N., Bioética: La nueva ciencia de la vida. Madrid, BAC, 2000.
  • PASTOR L.M., FERRER, M., La bioética en el milenio biotecnológico, Murcia,Sociedad Murciana de Bioética,2001.
  • POISSON, J.F. Bioética ¿El hombre contra el hombre?, Rialp, Madrid, 2009.


  • - Bioethicsline www.bioethics.Georgetown.edu/bioline.htm
  • - Euroethics www.gwdg.de/-uelsner/entrez/.fcgi
  • - Asociación Médica Mundial www.wma.net
  • - Canadian Bioethics Society:  www.bioethics.ca/english
  • - Asociación Europea de Centros de Bioética Médica: www.kuleuven.ac.be/cbmer/eacmeherstel.htm
  • - European Bioethical Research: www.bioethics.org.uk
  • - Asociación Española de Bioética y Bioética médica: www.aebioetica.org
  • - Bioética y Derecho. Universidad de Barcelona: www.Ub.es/fildt/bioetica.htm
  • - Centro de Documentación de Bioética del departamento de Humanidades Biomédicas: www.unav.es/cdb
  • -Observatorio de Bioética de Valencia: www.observatoriobioetica.com

Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 20/01/2023 A10 14:00h