cod. 1005538

Academic year 2024/25
2° year of course - Second semester
Maria Chiara ERRIGO
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, on 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, the constitutional principles invoked in legal argument related to this ' new ' area of law; 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 address the legal problems posed by the development of medical technologies and the consequences on the fundamental values such as life, health, human dignity, equality, self-determination, environment. Firstly the course will be focused on the method, sources and principles of biolaw; secondly, it will address the study of the beginning of life (abortion, medically assisted procreation) and the end-of-life (refusal of care, euthanasia, assisted suicide), as well as topics such as health protection as an individual right and a collective interest, medical ethics, neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence, environmental bioethics and protection of future generations, animals weelbeing, 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

- - -


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), of the Law n. 194/1978 and of the following rulings of the Constitutional Court:
- n. 27/1975
-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 traditional lessons, promoting the dialogue and the interaction with students.
The second part of the course will involve the active participation of students through group assignments on the analysis and the discussion of specific topics.
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 uploaded on Elly platform. To download this material, online registration is required.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final evaluation will be an oral examination with at least three questions, with reference to the entire program of the course 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 knowledge of the legal institutes and the autonomy of judgment will be also verified by inviting the 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 main topics of the program and he/she 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.

Other information

- - -