Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
Academyc year when helding the course: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (32 hours)

To fully understand the topics addressed in the present course, students should possess basic notions of cellular biology, genetics, human anatomy, physiology and pathology.

The learning outcomes will be assessed by an oral interview on any topic se-lected from the syllabus.
Students will be faced with a set of four key questions that can be used to clarify an ethical problem. In all cases, students will need to ask the follow-ing:
What is the ethical question? What are the relevant facts? Who or what could be affected by the way the question gets resolved? What are the rele-vant ethical considerations?
A minimum requirement for passing the exam is having demonstrated that students know the main ethical theories and principles. The criteria that will guide the evaluation of the oral test are based not only on the adequacy of the answers to the questions asked, but also on the correct use of scientific and ethical terminology in the presentation of the topics.

Voto Finale

The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to bioethics, with particular reference to the main issues related to the three disciplinary areas of clinical ethics, research ethics and public ethics.
The course aims to provide a historical-methodological introduction of bioethics as a discipline. In particular, the different methodological approaches present in the literature and currently used within bioethical reasoning to face the so-called ethical dilemmas and moral disagreements will be presented and discussed.
The course also deals with the three aforementioned sectors - clinical ethics, research ethics and public ethics - through the presentation of the main theoretical and applied issues addressed within these areas of investigation, and the treatment of selected case studies that allow to show how bioethics can become a useful tool for analyzing, if not solving, these issues.
Finally, the course will offer opportunity to evaluate the ethical and social impact of many topics proposed in the study path with reference to the disciplinary area of research methodologies and communication and to the area of clinical and diagnostic disciplines.
At the end of the course, students should be able to:
• demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts and theoretical perspectives in ethics;
• recognize and critically analyze ethical concerns in biology, medicine and public health;
• distinguish ethical questions from scientific and legal questions and from questions of personal preference, custom, or habit;
• develop and use critical thinking skills to analyze information and situations in order to respond and act ethically with regard to scientific research, practice, and technology;
• recognize that while there can usually be several answers or approaches to an ethical question, it is important to present a strong, well-reasoned argument for one’s position. And then to develop the ability to justify an ethical position;
• Enhance respectful dialogue among individuals with diverse perspectives.
At the end of the course, students should have also the theoretical competences that will allow them to assess ethical reasoning in complex situations and ethical decision making in professional and research practice.

• Introduction to Bioethics and the aims of medicine
• Introduction to Clinical Ethics and Ethics consultation
• Biomedical and Clinical Research and Ethics Committee
• Research Integrity
• NeuroEthics
• Beginning of Life issues (PMA, Abortion, Embryo Stem Cells)
• End of Life issues (Euthanasia, Advanced Directives, Palliative Care, Organ Transplantation)
• GenEthics and Human Enhancement
• Research Biobanks and Big Data
• Nanotechnology and NanoEthics
• Transcultural medicine
• Ethical issues in infectious diseases
• Bioethical Dilemmas in Emergency and Disaster Medicine
• Ethics in Health Services Management
• Privacy and Confidentiality

All the topics will be characterized by a common thread in reference to the recent world COVID-19 pandemic and the ethical questions it poses.

Slides, documents and scientific papers are supplied by the lecturer. All ma-terial can be find on e-learning platform, compatibly with the laws on copy-right.
Specific and current reference textbooks will be also recommended during each individual lesson.


The course consists of specialist lessons and Case Reports aimed at creating a direct interaction between students and teacher, in order to stir the stu-dents' interest concerning the topics of the course.
The case study method challenges students to engage the issues being dis-cussed and to participate actively in the deliberative process (participatory method with discussion, debate, questions). Lessons, case reports and the accompanying visual materials are the major source of information for the students, who are also encouraged to further investigate aspects of special interest, by referring to some recommended textbooks.

Prof. Picozzi will receive the students in his office in Varese (Via O. Rossi 9); appointments should be scheduled by e-mail:

The teacher is also available for in-depth or clarification meetings on the topics covered for groups of students, agreed with the same method.