Maastricht, Netherlands

Medical Ethics - Moral Healthcare Dilemmas and Choices from a European Perspective

when 3 July 2019 - 19 July 2019
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 1000

Those who are working in the medical professions are often confronted with decision making procedures that go far beyond the mere technological aspects that are involved in the cases under investigation. Doctors and nurses are aware of the fact that their fields of operation are characterised by moral parameters as well and they know that ethical reflection has to come in where scientific deliberation is no longer able to answer all the questions that are connected to the medical problems they have to deal with. This means that quite frequently a medical assessment needs the help of an ethical evaluation to cover completely the appraisal of a particular health situation and that doctors and nurses should be conscious of the moral status and implications of the conclusions they draw.

The aim of this course is to give students an introductory and philosophical investigation of the question if, when and how ethical considerations can or must play a role in the practice of the medical professions. Topics that will be addressed are for example: euthanasia, embryo research, HIV and Aids, imperilled new-borns, gen therapy and cloning, involuntary psychiatric treatment, and allocation of limited medical resources.

It wants to make students aware of the fact that the health sciences are not operating in a moral vacuum and that a good knowledge of both the older and recent ethical debate in this particular field is of the greatest significance. There will be lectures, philosophical discussions and the study of practical cases (some with guest speakers from the field) that reflect the most important problems and topics that make up the moral challenges of the medical discipline of today.

Course leader

H.M.S. Timmermans

Target group


A minimum number of 8 students is required for the course to take place.

Course aim

Students will be schooled in philosophical techniques that form the basis of sound ethical reasoning. After the course students will have a good working knowledge of the most important ethical problems, questions, approaches, answers and theories that are related to the fields in which medical professionals are working. They can give an independent philosophical analysis of a medical case or of a case which is related to this and they will be able to properly justify the ethical answers and solutions that are being looked for. They know how to present their findings both in a written and in an oral form.

Credits info

6 EC
Maastricht Summer School awards academic credit (ECTS) for courses successfully completed during the programme. To include these credits in the curriculum of your degree, you need to obtain official approval from the responsible department at your home institution.

Upon completion of a course, the Maastricht Summer School issues a transcript. The transcript states the student’s name, student ID-number, the grade or Pass/Fail and the number of ECTS credits.

Fee info

EUR 1000: This 3-week course costs €1000,-.