Medical Ethics

As a scholarly discipline, Medical Ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology.

Medical ethics covers an enormous ground, including issues such as the ethics of medical care in general, terminal care, the treatment and care of disadvantaged and vulnerable persons, the treatment of foetuses and newborn babies, end-of-life decisions and euthanasia as well as issues concerning priorities within medical and health care. Widely interpreted, the discipline also covers (bio)medical research ethics.

The aims of the medical ethics education are:

  1. Awareness of the values and principles that commonly apply to medical ethics discussions, such as human dignity, informed consent and patient autonomy, confidentiality, and justice
  2. Improved communication and decision-making skills in ethically and culturally problematic situations
  3. Familiarity with ethical and professional guidelines and recommendations and relevant health care and medical legislation

To achieve these goals, medical students must be able to understand the ethical principles and values underpinning good medical practice; be able to think critically about ethics, reflecting on their own beliefs and understanding and appreciating alternative, perhaps competing, approaches; and be able to argue and counterargue in order to contribute to informed discussion and debate.

Students must know the main professional and legal obligations of doctors and medical researchers in Finland, and be able constructively to participate in the ethical and legal reasoning needed in everyday practice.

Contact information:

Postal address: Medical Ethics, FI-20014 University of Turku

Visiting address: Publicum, Assistentinkatu 7, 20500 Turku (Location on the campus map)



Veikko Launis