cod. 1005538

Academic year 2021/22
2° year of course - Second semester
Antonio D'ALOIA
Academic discipline
Diritto costituzionale (IUS/08)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course intends to provide students with the tools to deal with legal issues related to the person's choices in the field of health, and to developments on quality of life and of the environment, of medical and biological technologies. At the end of this course, the student should have gained the ability to: understand the main issues of biolaw, the italian legislation and of the main countries on the mentioned issues; orient among the constitutional principles that are invoked in legal argument relating to issues covered by this ' new ' area of law; understand and discuss laws and judgments concerning the topics of the course; - discuss with appropriate legal Language; apply the acquired knowledges to specific case studies.


To access the examination of biolaw, students of Law Course should have passed at least the examinations of Institutions of private law, Constitutional Law, Criminal law.

Course unit content

The course will cover the legal problems posed by the development of medical technologies and the reflections that these have on the guarantee of fundamental values such as life, health, human dignity, equality, self-determination, environment and ecosystem. In particular, the course, after a first part focused on the method, sources and principles of biolaw, will be dedicated to the study of bioethics of beginning of life (abortion, medically assisted procreation) and of end-of-life (refusal of care, euthanasia, assisted suicide), as well as topics such as (among others) health protection as individual right and collective interest, freedom of choice care, the protection of people affected by rare diseases, medical ethics, the responsibility related to the exercise of medical practice, genetic privacy, pharmaceutical and clinical research, neuroscience and AI), environmental bioethics and protection of future generations, natural things, animals, the use of GMOs. The above-mentioned issues will be analyzed from the perspective of multilevel governance (with a strong focus on European law and case law) and of comparative law, especially through the examination of major court cases.

Full programme

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D’Aloia, A., Il diritto e l’incerto del mestiere di vivere. Ricerche di Biodiritto, Wolters Kluwer, Milano, 2021

The study of one of the two reference textbooks must be integrated with the analysis of the Law n. 219/2017 (regarding the informed consent and the living wills) and of the following rulings of the Constitutional Court:
- n. 151/2009
- n. 162/2014
- n. 96/2015
- n. 84/2016
- n. 207/2018
- n. 242/2019

Teaching methods

The first part of the course will take place mainly through teacher-fronted lessons, favoring the dialogue and the interaction with students.
The second part of the course will see the active participation of students through group work on the analysis and discussion of specific cases.
Seminars concerning a deep analysis of some particular topics of biolaw will be organized. For each seminar, some teaching material (laws, judgments, doctrine essays) will be loaded on Elly. To download this material, online registration is required.

The course will be held in University room, without prejudice to different provisions related to the health emergency,
on the days and times defined by the standard academic calendar.
Recorded lectures will be uploaded for students on Elly platform.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final evaluation (vote on thirty) takes the form of an oral examination with at least three questions, with reference to the entire program of public law as indicated in the suggested text. The oral test aims at verifying knowledge and understanding of the contents of the program; the ability to discern the most important trends of biolaw; the reasoning ability and the logic of the argumentation; The familiarity with the legal institutes and the autonomy of judgment will be also verified by inviting student to explain the topics discussed during the seminars. The test is aimed at verifying student's ability to synthesize, communicative and expressive skills, as well as successful acquisition of the appropriate legal language. The sufficient threshold is considered to be achieved when the student has demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the institutes of the program and is able to implement the correct interactions among the various parts of the program. If this is not achieved, the exam will be considered inadequate.

In the case of the health emergency, the exam can be held in presence, in mixed mode (i.e. in presence, but with the possibility of support also at a distance for students who request it), or only with online mode for all (at a distance). The examination's modality will be promptly communicated on the esse3 system in advance of the exam.

Other information

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