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Philosophy of Science, Health Care Ethics and Human Rights MPH130

The course explores themes and issues in general philosophy of science and in the specific philosophy of science within the health care profession. 

Additionally this course aims to develop the students conceptual understanding of clinical ethics and skills in applying this understanding to ethical dilemmas encountered in their professional practice. 

International human rights with relevance to the students' everyday professional life will be explored. 

Course description for study year 2021-2022. Please note that changes may occur.





Vekting (SP)


Semester undervisningsstart


Antall semestre






Learning outcome

A candidate who has completed this course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The candidate: 

  • Has knowledge about meta-scientific theory, rationalism, empiricism/positivism, phenomenology, hermeneutics and critical theory
  • Has knowledge about basic ethical theories and concepts, the four medical ethical principles, the relation between jurisdiction and ethics as relates to key issues in pre-hospital care
  • Has knowledge about moral stress, and how clinical ethical reflection may both reduce moral stress of pre-hospital care workers and enhance the quality of pre-hospital patient care
  • Has knowledge about the six-step clinical ethical reflection model
  • Has knowledge about international human rights as a concept and system
  • Has knowledge about specific human rights relevant to pre-hospital critical care


The candidate:

  • Can describe and evaluate different views on science and meta-science 
  • Can describe and evaluate different world views
  • Can identify ethical dilemmas in pre-hospital care
  • Can distinguish between ethical dilemmas and other professional issues
  • Can reflect systematically about a clinical ethical dilemma from their own professional experience by applying communication skills, theoretical knowledge and contextual understanding
  • Can identify human rights issues in their practice
  • Can apply their knowledge of human rights to reflect upon and discuss these issues

General competence

The candidate 

  • Can analyze and critically evaluate different epistemological issues, and distinguish between different scientific traditions
  • Can articulate an understanding of the importance and character of clinical ethics and have the ability to process in a systematic manner, clinical ethical dilemmas encountered in pre-hospital care through applying a six-step reflection model, communication skills, contextual sensitivity and theoretical knowledge. 
  • Has insights into what international human rights are and how these rights affect their profession
  • Can use their knowledge in order to participate in making sure human rights are respected in their profession
  • Can communicate human rights issues relevant to pre-hospital critical care inside and out of a professional setting

The course explores themes and issues in philosophy of science, ethical theory and human rights in general, and their applicability to prehospital critical care. 

The main objectives are that students develop a critical understanding of the epistemological and ethical assumptions and implications in the health care profession, and that they develop an understanding of what international human rights are, mainly from a legal standpoint, and how these rights are relevant to their everyday professional life. The latter is done by both looking at human rights as a concept, and also examining specific human rights relevant to prehospital critical care. 

Students are expected to demonstrate and exercise independent judgment and competence in writing. 

Required prerequisite knowledge
Recommended prerequisites
Examen Philosophicum or equivalent
Eksamen / vurdering
Vurderingsform Vekting Varighet Karakter Hjelpemiddel
Home exam 1/1 14 Days A - F All 1)

1) All aids allowed

Coursework requirements
Participation in presentation, 80% attendance
80% class attendance. If more than 50% attendance is achieved the student may apply for individual evaluation. The student may, if the faculty finds the basis sufficient, be given an extended written assignment. 
Course teacher(s)
Course teacher: Kjetil Moen
Course coordinator: Solveig Hodne Riska
Study Program Director: Per Kristian Hyldmo
Method of work

The course is organized in on-campus modules, and the course work will consist of lectures, seminars, group work and individual work.

Self-­study will be emphasized. Active methodology and close dialogue between student and teacher are central elements in the teaching and learning process.

Open for
Prehospital Critical Care (PHCC) Emergency Medical Care - Master Degree Program Prehospital Critical Care (PHCC) Emergency Medical Care - Full-time Master Degree Program
Course assessment
Student evaluation of this course will be conducted in accordance with faculty requirements.
Overlapping courses
Course Reduction (SP)
Philosophy of Science and Health Care Ethics (FXPSH100) 10
The syllabus can be found in Leganto