Course code Filz5012

Credit points 3


Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures12

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours57

Date of course confirmation30.09.2020

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Gunārs Brāzma

Dr. phil.

Prior knowledge

Filz1004, Ethics

Course abstract

The aim of study course – to develop master students’ ethical reasoning and its application in the processes of decision making and implementation related to topical issues in bioethics and environmental ethics. Master students acquire advanced knowledge of the ethical problems related to the development of biotechnology and biomedicine, knowledge of the approaches and problems of environmental ethics, and knowledge of the philosophical aspects of life sciences. The course promotes skills in analysing issues of practical ethics and analysing concrete cases. In addition to lectures the course includes studies of texts on the problems of practical ethics, discussions in seminars and presentations of students’ papers.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

1. Knowledge of the ethical problems related to the development of biotechnology and biomedicine, knowledge of the problems of environmental ethics, knowledge of the philosophical aspects of life sciences – final test.
2. Skills in formulating topical problems of bioethics and environmental ethics, analysing them, comparing views, suggesting solutions – student’s paper and presentation.
3. Competences to solve problems responsibly in the sphere of bioethics and environmental ethics, to evaluate knowledge and skills, to integrate them in further professional activity – discussions in seminars.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Normative and applied ethics. Bioethics as a branch of applied ethics. (lectures 2h, seminars 2h)
2. Bioethical problems related to prenatal period of human development. (lectures 2h, seminars 2h)
3. Human genetics and ethics. (lectures 2h, seminar 1h)
4. Bioethical problems related to the end of human life. (lectures 2h, seminars 2h)
5. Biotechnology and ethics. Animals and ethics. (lectures 2h, seminars 2h)
6. Approaches and problems of environmental ethics. (lectures 2h, seminars 2h)
7. Presentations of students’ papers (seminar 1h)

Requirements for awarding credit points

Scientific literature chosen by a lecturer must be studied and discussed during the seminars. Student’s paper must be elaborated and presented. Final test in the end of the course.

Study process in part-time distance learning is organised in accordance with the Order of the Vice-Rector of Studies No. 2.4.-5/59 On distance learning procedures at LBTU. Study courses are scheduled for each semester according to the study plan. The students learn the topics included in the study course independently, using the materials created and placed by the lecturer in the e-studies (Moodle). Feedback on the learning of lecture and seminar topics in distance learning is organised in the form of self-assessment tests, discussion forums and independent work, as well as in face-to-face or online consultations, lectures and final examinations according to the timetable.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Individual tasks in the study course include 56 hours in full time studies: preparation of paper and its presentation (28 hours), preparation for final test (28 hours), in part time distance learning – respectively 34 and 34 hours.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Test with a grade. Grade’s accumulating assessment of study results: final written test (50%), student’s paper’s presentation and answers to questions (50%).

Compulsory reading

1. Brāzma G. (2010) Bioētika: cilvēka dzīvības radīšana un pārtraukšana. Jelgava, LLU. 128. lpp.
2. Talbot M. (2012) Bioethics: an introduction. Cambridge University Press. 464 lpp.
3. Viens, A.M., Singer, P. (2008) The Cambridge Textbook of Bioethics. Cambridge University Press. Pieejama kā e-grāmata:

Further reading

1. Goldeikrs B. Sliktā zinātne. Rīga: Zvaigzne ABC, 2016. 351 lpp.
2. Contemporary Debates in Bioethics. Ed. by Caplan A., Arp R. Wiley Blackwell, 2014. 521 p.

3. Environmental Ethics: what really matters, what really works. Ed. by Schmitz D., and Willott E. Oxford University Press, 2012.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Žurnāls Rīgas laiks. ISSN 1407-1622. Žurnāls „Rīgas laiks”. [tiešsaiste] [skatīts 03.03.2017.]. Pieejams:
2. Žurnāls Scientific American. ISSN 0036-8733.
3. | Where the World Finds Bioethics [tiešsaiste] [skatīts 03.03.2017.]. Pieejams: