Medical Ethics

The Medical Ethics course is taught for students of 1st year of General Medicine (lectures 12 hours, seminars 24 hours) and students of 2nd year of Dentistry (lectures 12 hours, seminars 18 hours).

The aim of the course is to teach students to recognize the ethical dimension of the medical profession and to acquire the tools of moral reasoning for decision-making in clinical practice.

Actual information for students about the course are available in the zone for students.


Learning outcomes


The student:

  • knows the basic concepts related to ethics and medical ethics, and understands the connection between philosophy and medicine;
  • knows scientific facts, anthropological concepts and moral theories relevant to the analysis of ethical problems in biomedicine;
  • understands what is meant by a holistic view of the human person, respect for human dignity in the full range of human ontogeny and respect for patient autonomy;
  • has an overview of current ethical issues in biomedicine and how they can be addressed.

The student is able to:

  • think critically; have the foundations of moral reasoning necessary for the medical profession;
  • distinguish key aspects of moral decision making in clinical practice;
  • apply general moral principles and theories to specific cases;
  • identify an ethical problem in medical practice, analyze it, draw conclusion and justify it.



General part: Medicine as a human practice at the intersection of the natural sciences and the humanities. The aims of medicine. Health and disease. Historical transformations and contemporary models of the doctor-patient relationship. Principles of communication in medical practice. Autonomy of the physician, his judgement and conscience. Basic models of ethical reasoning and ethical theories. Basic concepts of personhood and their implications in modern medicine. Human dignity, bodily integrity and respect for patient autonomy. Informed consent and patient rights. Competence in decision-making. Medical confidentiality. Truth and hope as part of the therapeutic process. Ethical codes, declarations, international conventions and protocols.

Special section: Ethical issues at the beginning of human life. Ethical issues in reproductive medicine. Gene therapy and genetic modification beyond treatment. Genetic testing and counselling. Ethical issues in fetal medicine, neonatology and paediatrics. Ethical issues in transplantology and intensive care medicine. Decision-making in the case of limited resources. Ethics at the end of life - suffering, pain, dying and death. Euthanasia and assisted suicide. Palliative and hospice care. Ethics of biomedical research involving human subjects. Selected aspects of ethics in psychiatry. Ethical aspects of medical care for people with disabilities, for groups at risk of poverty or social exclusion and for ageing populations. Ethical issues in times of pandemics.