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Vethics - Ethical Challenges for Veterinarians in One World

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NOVA PhD course of 3 ECTS, organsied by Assoc. Prof. Helena Röcklinsberg, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Course dates and location: Uppsala, Sweden. The course is CANCELLED.

Course Description
Veterinarians in clinics as well as on farms meet ethical challenges every day. In this interdisciplinary course teachers in ethics, philosophy of science and veterinary medicine will create a learning environment for reflection on ethical challenges relevant within veterinary medical and clinical research. The course runs Monday morning to Friday early afternoon, with a mixture of lectures and seminars. Pre-preparation is required by reading five scientific papers and handing in a summary of their PhD-thesis with emphasis on ethical aspects.

The course covers fields such as a) Ethical theories & concepts b) The ethical role of the veterinarian, c) Different aspects of veterinary medicine (companion animals, production animals, research animals, wild/semi-wild animals (ZOOs, rewilded, feral animals etc.), d) Responsible conduct of research for young researchers in veterinary medicine with a focus on research integrity and publication issues. Participants are required to engage in in-depth elaboration of both own practice and presented cases related to veterinary responsibility with regard to these areas.

Programme Outline
The basic structure will be a morning session divided between lecture and seminar (incl. coffee break), lunch, and an afternoon session divided between lecture and seminar or student own work. In addition a panel discussion with teachers and local experts for which students prepare questions will be arranged, as well as an excursion and a movie night with subsequent debate.

Pre-Campus Assignments
Pre-preparation in terms of reading and reflecting upon 5 academic papers from different disciplines on the subject and writing a 3 page reflection on their own thesis with emphasis on ethical aspects.

Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge: Insights in the complexity of challenges in veterinary ethics, familiarity with ethical theories and central ethical concepts related to veterinary ethics and research, and the role of ethics in the professional life of veterinarians.
  • Skills: Capacity to apply ethical theories and concepts to veterinary issues, analyze stakeholder statements to identify underlying value issues, and communicate about professional ethics in a qualified way.
  • Competences: Competence in identifying and handling challenges in veterinary research and practice, increased competence in autonomous ethical reflection, elaboration and decision-making, improved professional integrity (independently of discipline) and sustained commitment to the development of ethical stances within their field of research.

Evaluation Elements
Active course attendance and fulfilling criteria for the written assignment.

Pedagogical Approach
Successful teaching of applied ethics, including veterinary ethics requires that students are encouraged to reflect upon own practices from novel and different perspectives, exploring values through ethical theories and critically discuss own and other´s values. This course offers tools to identify value discussions hidden under professional approaches, analyze cases for value conflicts and to participate in ethical debates on veterinary subjects. The aim is to facilitate an understanding of the inherent value issues in veterinary medicine and research. Further, on this basis students are encouraged to build an informed opinion and to participate in public debates and day-to-day encounters.

Estimated Workload
Pre-course work:

  • 30 h literature/independent work
  • 12 h written pre-assignment on ethical aspects in own PhD work

Course week:

  • 15 hours seminar (3/day)
  • 20 hours lecture (4/day)
  • 4 hours independent work (1/day except Friday)
  • 9 hours other (evening activities: movie, excursion, panel debate)

Prerequisite Knowledge
PhD-students in veterinary medicine, ethics/philosophy/theological ethics, history, literature, social science (agro-economy, sociology, psychology etc) with a focus on animals are welcome.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.

Apply here

Published 13. December 2016 - 14:24 - Updated 3. April 2018 - 15:21