In the Philosophy of Medicine course, we explore key philosophical aspects of contemporary medicine. We begin with an introduction to western philosophy that focuses of key schools of thought such as virtue theory, deontology and consequentialism. We look at how these theoretical foundations relate to healthcare settings, and how we can use critical thought to identify and think through contemporary issues. Through a series of interactive seminars led by eminent speakers and rising stars within the field of bioethics, we question, for example, what is health; who do we consider a person; how do we determine values? We then apply these theoretical ethical issues to healthcare context while also inducting course participants in the elements of constructing good philosophical arguments. We will draw upon theories from philosophy, clinical cases from our practices and from the media, and seminal legal cases to demonstrate the live ethical and more broadly philosophical challenges of medicine and healthcare today. The course and examination both give ample scope for participants to develop their own interests in the field.
Course Director, Philosophy of Medicine Course
Mr Peter Young, M.Bioethics
Click here - Full programme
Course Insights, Philosophy by Past Course Director, Dr Andrew Papanikitas
The course runs in parallel with the History of Medicine and is intended to give a grounding in philosophical aspects of medical practice, including ethics, as applied to clinical practice. It also provides preparation for those wishing to take the Society of Apothecaries' diploma examination, with post-nominals (DPMSA).
Please note: The course will run on Saturdays in person and, pm select days over Zoom from October 2023-June 2024. Contact the Faculty Manager for any questions.
Annual Course fee for 2023-24
£1,100 - full fee
£660 Student fee (exam bursaries are available on a first-come, first-served basis)
Register onto the course - click here
Course drop-in fee
£100 Drop-in classes (please mention which course days you would like to attend when emailing application form)
Terms and Conditions - Please click here
Exam Bursaries Criteria
Open Days online
Friday 15 September at 12pm-1pm
Friday 22 September at 12pm-1pm
Join the Course Directors and Examiners to ask questions about the course and modalities of the exams.
Eligibility, application and fees for the diploma examination are run separately by the Examinations Office; details can be obtained here.
The lecture formally known as the Sydney Selwyn Prize is in memory of Professor Sydney Selwyn (1934-1996), a medical microbiologist and bacteriologist, bone marrow transplant pioneer, and world-class expert in the history and development of medicine. The lecture is presented by the best candidate in the Diploma in the Philosophy of Medicine examination.
2023 Winner of the Sydney Selwyn is Professor Richard Armitage who will be talking on 'Should your GP help you give one of your kidneys to a stranger?' which will be held on 7 November 2023 at 6pm.
Contact: Maria Ferran, Faculty Manager & Webmaster
Telephone: 020 7236 1189
Black Friars Lane
London EC4V 6EJ
020 7236 1189
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