This course is intended to serve as a broad introduction to the field of bioethics:

  1. Leading students to ask themselves the crucial questions on the nature of the relationship between techno-science, bioethics and society, nowadays;
  2. Leading students to think about their future work as scientific professionals and about their rights and duties as citizens
  3. Increasing the student’s capacity of decision and adjustment in a changing world.

    Specific capabilities to be developed:

    To understand and master the fundamental concepts of Bioethics, this specialized and cross-disciplinary knowledge spanning ethics, law, society, culture, public policy, philosophy, religion, economics, history, and even language, for the analysis of the interrelationship between biosciences, biotechnology and society.

    General capabilities to be implemented:

    1. To understand the dynamics of the relationship between science, technology and society, in different geographic an geopolitical contexts, at a global scale;
    2. To develop the sense of ethics and social responsibility;
    To relate professional practice with the active citizenship.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria da Silva Pereira Amaral


Weekly - 2

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


• John D. Arras & Elizabeth Fenton (2018), The Routledge Companion to bioethics (Routledge PhilisophyCompanions).

• Allen Buchanan (2017), BetterthanHuman: the promise and perils of biomedical enhancement(philosophy in action), Oxford University Press.

• Padma Mambisan (2017), An Introduction to Ethical, Safety and Intellectual Property Rights Issues in Biotechnology , Academic Press.

• Helga Kruse & Udo Schuklenk, (2015), Bioethics: an anthology, Blackwell Publishing, USA.

• Pedro Galvão (2015), Ética com razões, Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos. • Cristina Beckert(2012), Ética. Lisboa: CFUL.

• Donna Dickwenson (2012), All that Matters, McGraw Hill, London.

• Ben Mepham, (2008), Bioethics, an introduction for the biosciences, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Teaching method

Available soon

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1.  Introduction to Bioethics: nature and history

  • The life: forms, origins and sense

2. Overview of the current state of the art of global ethics

3. The major paradigms of western society (teleological, deontological and utilitarian models)

4. The canon of bioethics: classic works then and now: the bioethics committees

5. The Euthanasia and the abortion debate: an interdisciplinary 

6. Experimentation in animals – animal bioethics

7. The place of bioethics in humankind: coercion, exploitation, and manipulation

8. Should we do what science and technology make possible?

9. Contemporary issues on bioethics – study cases:

  1. Sexuality and human procreation  (infertility and  “surrogate”)
  2. Manipulation and genetic selection (prenatal diagnosis, enhancement technologies,  genetic therapy)
  3. Research in human embryos (Fertilization in vitro, cloning and research in steam cells)
  4. GMOs and biotecnhological agriculture
  5. Human transplantation