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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

IDEA3313 Ethical Issues at the End of Life

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Carl Fox

Taught: 1 Jan to 28 Feb View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

IDEA3303 Abortion, Euthanasia, Life and Death

This module is not approved as a discovery module


The module aims to provide philosophical basis for critically examining the moral issues at the end of life, considering background theory as well as more specific issues, such as:
- Theory: examining the morality of killing and the value of human life; quality of life; the implications of consequentialism as applied to the morality of killing – the difference between killing and letting die, and alternatives to consequentialism; slippery slopes.
- Applied: Palliative care; suicide; active and passive euthanasia; withdrawing treatment.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- Display understanding of a number of key philosophical texts relating to end of life decisions;
- Explain and evaluate competing approaches to central concepts in debates around end of life issues;
- Explain and evaluate arguments put forward in debates about end of life issues, and relate them to key theoretical positions.


Will include topics such as:
- The wrongness of killing
- Consequentialism and non-consequentialism
- Suicide and assisted suicide
- Palliative care
- Quality of life and best interests
- Withdrawing treatment
- Active and passive euthanasia

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours134.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Detailed study of required readings plus advance preparation of discussion questions for seminars. Preparation of answers to set coursework assignment questions. Independent reading and research for the preparation of assessed essay(s).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Essay plan (400 words)

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/06/2023 12:15:32


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