cod. 1004745

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - First semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
SALA Roberto
integrated course unit
4 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

The purpose of the course is to provide students with tools in order to comprise the variety of the reasonings on the moral issues related to the research and development of biotechnological applications in medicine, veterinary and pharmacy, for being aware of the motivations that underlie chosen and norms that invest the biotechnologies.
At the end of the course the student will be able:
-to identify the fundamental principles that are in some way common to the various bioethics positions ;
-to know, to comprise, and to explain the supported reasonings in order to defend the various positions bioethics positions about: animal testing , stem cell research and medical applications, nuclear reprogramming; assisted fertilization; genetic tests and genic therapy;
- to know the rules on patent protection of the results of inventive research, particularly in the biotechnology sector,
- to know the legislation regulating biotechnological research, in relation both to its conduction and to the use and exploitation of its results .


No one

Course unit content

The first lessons have the task to supply fundamental information on the bioethics and regulations in matter of patents. The following lessons will address the legal and ethical aspects of biotechnological interest, that have been developed both in Italy and in Europe. Particular attention will be turned to develop the ability:
-to analyse and discuss etichs aspects that involve the biotechnological research;
- to analyze and to understand the norms that protect the invention in biotechnological field.

Full programme

The origins and development of bioethics; Morality and bioethics as applied ethics: Cultural models of the Societies; Genetically modified organisms: human-nature relationship and the precautionary principle; Bioethical aspects of the use and conservation of genetic information obtained from the patients; Bioethical aspects of biotechnology related to human and animal reproduction, eugenics; Bioethical aspects of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine: reproductive and therapeutic cloning; Ethics of animal experimentation;The patents for invention; The chemical-pharmaceutical inventions, patent protection of biotechnological inventions, the contained use of GMOs; The release into the environment and placing on the market of GMOs; Food security, biodiversity; The regulation of new plant varieties.


Corbellini G., Perché gli scienziati non sono pericolosi. Scienza, etica e politica. Longanesi, Milano, 2009
Comolli GM : Manuale di Bioetica
Lectures will be supported by slides and literature, which will be provided to the students.

Teaching methods

The course is structured in lectures of two hours each. Each meeting will develop one of the topics described in the program. The lesson includes a presentation of the teacher who introduces the topic. The topic is then discussed illustrating the different interpretive approaches. Students are encouraged to express their opinions and discuss. The purpose of providing an opportunity for information and training of critical thinking. At the end of the lesson the teacher makes a summary of the positions emerged and recommended further reading.

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination is oral and aims to assess both bioethical, and legislative skills acquired , through open-ended questions and request to argue and compare thesis and different models. The examination also include the choice of a topic, among those presented during the course , on which it is carried out a specific study .
Evaluation criteria are:
- Argumentative skills;
- Accuracy and competence in the terminology adopted during the oral examination;
- Ability to join technical, and International comparative data during the discussion of chosen topic;
. At the end of the examination each teacher will formulate a judgment:
A. Excellent knowledge and understanding of the topic. High capacity for critique and analysis of the issues. Mark out of thirty: 30.
B. Good knowledge and understanding of the subject with some serious inaccuracies. Good ability to critique and analysis of the issues. Mark out of thirty: 27-29.
C. Good knowledge and understanding of the subject despite some shortcomings. Ability to critique and analysis of themes: Mark out of thirty: 24-26.
D. Knowledge and understanding of the fully sufficient even if there are obvious gaps. Mark out of thirty: 21-23.
E. Knowledge and understanding of the subject with just enough obvious and serious flaws. Mark out of thirty: 18-20.
“Lode” will be offered to students who have achieved 30/30, for the demonstration of independence of judgment, high communication skills and ability.

Other information

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