Ethics in Medicine

Course information


Ethics in medicine


Dr. Sándor Krémer associate professor

Course code



Waltner Károly Hall, Department of Pediatrics

6720 Szeged, Korányi fasor 14-15.


Monday, 11:00-12:30

Course description

Short description

One of the main objectives of the course is to highlight the inherently ethical nature of medical activity. Besides the clarification of the basic values of medical professionalism the course gives an insight into the most important ethical quandaries raised by modern technological medicine and biology. During the educational process the students acquire the methods of moral reasoning.

One of the aims of practical classes is to provide cognitive knowledge on the main ideas of moral philosophy, on the most important problems in biomedical ethics, and on the moral solutions being acceptable to these problems. The other aim of the classes is to develop the students' ability to use adequate moral reasoning and to pursue careful moral deliberation. Case studies, patients' stories can sensitise students to ethical problems occurring in medical settings and can give them experiences in the clarification and solution of ethical conflicts. Practical classes have a third objective too, it intends to influence and form the students' moral behaviour mainly by the help of confrontation with their own moral commitments.


The meaning of ethics and its parts. The role of values in the regulation of human behaviour. The role of morality in the formation of traditional medical ethics. Deontological and utilitarian ethical theories. The birth of biomedical ethics and its four ethical principles. The doctrine of informed consent, the principle of respect for autonomy, the rights of the patient. Confidentiality, different perspectives of doctor-patient relationship. The ethical problems of organ and tissue transplantation. The ethical aspects of technological development in the field of human reproduction. The questions of abortion. Ethical issues of experimentation on humans and animals, moral quandaries posed by new genetics. Ethical decisions at the end of life: refusal/withdrawal of life saving and life sustaining treatments, alleviation of pain, physician assisted suicide, active euthanasia, hospice. The ethics of professional-professional relationship, the questions of medical consultation. Justice in healthcare, macro- and micro-allocation.









1. Introduction, basic moral concepts

2. Morals and law, short history of ethics

3. Basic ethical theories and principles of bioethics

4. Health and illness, informed consent

5. Abortion


7. Euthanasia and suicide

8. Impaired infants

9. Animal experimentation

10. Cloning

11. Transplantation

12. Patients’ rights

13. Justice in medicine and public health

14. Medicine and politics


Requirements to get the grade

-Active participation on lectures and practices, based on the Study and Exam Regulations of the University.

- Attendance of lectures and practices is mandatory.

- Written test-exam or oral exam for the theory mark and an assignment for the practice grade.

Reading list



-Lisa Schwartz, Paul E. Preece, Robert A. Hendry: Medical Ethics – A Case-Based Approach.

WB Saunders, 2002.

- Ronald Munson: Intervention and Reflection. Basic Issues in Medical Ethics

(Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2004)

- World Medical Association (WMA,

- WMA Ethics Manual (

- WMA Policy (

- The Declaration of Geneva (

- The Declaration of Helsinki (

- Kovács J.: A modern orvosi etika alapjai. Bevezetés a bioetikába

(2. átdolgozott kiadás, Budapest: Medicina, 1999)

Friss Hírek

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Március 15-e alkalmából a Szegedi Tudományegyetem Bölcsészettudományi Karának két professzora (Barna Gábor és Felföldi László) is Magyar Érdemrend Tisztikereszt polgári tagozat kitüntetést vett át.