2023-2024 / DEON0003-1

Questions of ethics : Animal and human experimentation


15h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in biomedicine2 crédits 
 Master in motor sciences (120 ECTS)2 crédits 


Jo Caers, Jean-Michel Dogne, Pierre Drion, Ezio Tirelli


Pierre Drion

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, examination in June


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course discusses the ethics of animal experiments (preclinical studies) and clinical studies in human medicine. We want the focus on teaching the student by reducing the number of lectures and making students work in groups of 2-3 in order to stimulate their reflection in a supervised group learning.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Course objective: the course looks at the ethical aspects of animal experimentation and clinical studies in human medicine. The teaching will be centred on students, by reducing the number of lectures and having the students work in groups in order to stimulate their thinking through supervised group learning. The aim is to give them the tools to eventually apply to their knowledge (that has either been presented through the course or acquired by themselves) through reflecting on concrete problems, and applying to them a considered approach which responds to those problems.

As far as animal experimentation is involved we will outline the procedures that should be carried out in order to treat laboratory animals properly, according to internationally recognised criteria. Thus, the following will be looked at: moral and ethical concerns, the ethics of pet treatment versus ethics in the framework of animal experimentation. In addition, in vivo research, institutional management committees for animal ethics, the concept of the 'three Rs' in the monitoring of animal health and determining limit points, animal healthcare (animal houses and animal house management, statistics, animal origins, personnel training, personnel and respective responsibilities, environment improvements), the influence of stress on research, the influence of illness on research, antibody production, anesthesia and analgesia, euthanasia, health and personnel security.

We expect students to discover by themselves the main rules and regulations concerning good practice, as well as the role and operating regulations of Ethical Committees. This personal research will be presented to the teachers and other students in the form of a Powerpoint representation.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Different ways of learning will be proposed

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

rganisation: Time & Place : see the course timetable sheets
Student participation: students are required to attend and participate actively (debates)
Particular teaching methods: ex cathedra lectures followed by presentations of work carried out by the students on the basis of a list of subjects drawn up by the teachers, and on which they have worked interactively with the teachers.
Material used by the students. Diverse publications, information drawn from the internet. Presentations are made with the help of Powerpoint files.

Recommended or required readings

All the lecture notes and student presentations will be placed online on a site accessible to ULg students.
Books, articles and references made ¿¿available when available to students

Evaluation of student work: equal weight will be given to oral presentations and written work.
Oral presentations will be graded according to the following criteria: the accuracy and clarity of the content, the originality of the work, the quality of the presentation (the way the problem looked at has been treated, and the quality of the communication)

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Possible modification of the way of teaching (lifesize/teams in place of "presentiel") if Covid pandemic becomes more severe....



Pierre Drion, professeur ordinaire ULiège, Faculté de Médecine

Jo Caers, Médecin Hématologue, Chargé de cours, Chef de Service du Service d'Hématologie du CHU,  Faculté de Médecine

Ezio Tirelli, professeur ordinaire ULiège, Faculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l'Education

Jean Michel Dogné, professeur ordinaire Unamur, Epert belge à l'Agence européenne du Médicament, Expert à l'OMS

Association of one or more MOOCs