Welcome to Human Bioethics


Bioethics is a relatively new field emerging from developments within medicine, biology, and biotechnology. Almost daily, media attention is focused on some particular problem, application or breakthrough science that inevitably raises as many problems as it solves. The objective of the course is to give the PhD students a broader base to discuss and analyse ethical problems they meet through their scientific work. The focus of the course will be on ethics that is relevant for people conducting experiments with human subjects or animals. The course will consist of a series of invited lectures from experts in the field and discussions on essays or case stories outlining ethical issues, or issues related to the PhD student’s own research


Topics Module A (introduction)

Lecture(s): Introductory moral philosophy, Introduction to bioethics.


Topics Module B (human)

Lecture(s): Killing, sex and money – the short history of biomedical research ethics, Informed consent – the cornerstone of research ethics, Problems with informed consent. Discussion on Cases (e.g.; Clinical research case, Healthy participant research case, Research with groups that cannot consent children, persons with dementia, Biobanking, genetic research, consent and withdrawal, big data, research within own organisation).



The students will be asked to reflect on possible ethical dilemmas within their research and prepare a short presentation that will be discussed in a plenum session.






During the course we will specifically work towards increasing the PhD student’s ability to identify, reflect on and analyse ethical problems and issues in writing ethical applications for conducting animal or human experiments. Therefore, it is important that PhD students have some experience, and they must have been enrolled at least one year in the doctoral school before participating in the course or have carried out previous human and/or animal experimental studies.



A combination of written assignments, case discussions and/or oral presentation. 

Organizer: Professor Winnie Jensen, email wj@hst.aau.dk, Assistant Professor Patrik Kjærsdam Telleus, email pkt@hst.aau.dk and Associate Professor Jes Lynning Harfeld, HUM, jlh@learning.aau.dk

Lecturers: Organizers and invited speakers


Human Bioethics: Module A (introduction) + Module B (human) = 1 ECTS

This course can be taken in combination with the ‘’Animals Bioethics’’ course. The introductory module A is the same for the two courses and therefore you will not need to follow part A again, but only need to follow Module B (animal). The complete ECTS for the two courses will be 1.5 ECTS.

Time: 28 September, 5 October & 22 October (8.15-12.00)

Place: Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7D, room E3-209

Zip code: 

Aalborg East

Number of seats:

Deadline: 14 September 2018

Important information concerning PhD courses 
We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.