Pharmaceutical  Ethics and Sociology

(Theory and practice)


(10-10 hours)

(Faculty of Pharmacy, 5th year)

2023/2024 year I. semester

Course objectives:

  • To enable students to recognize ethical issues when encountered in everyday practice and research
  • To provide students with a conceptual-logical system, which helps them to address ethical questions and  toresolve ethical dilemmas in an efficent way
  • To introduce students to a body of knowledge, which helps them to understand, respect and protect the rights of patients, research subjects and fellow health care professionals
  • To help the would be health care professional to undertand the responsibility of the individual, of the health care system and of the society as a whole in maintaining health
  • To gain a solid foundation for future studies in any social subject related to pharmacy
  • To enhance competence in designing, undertaking and evaluating research involving human subjects
  • To enhance communication skills useful in dispensaries or in hospitals


Lectures ethics: Tuesday, 11.30-12.15 NET Sz-06. (5.-9- weeks)

Practicals ethics: Tuesday, 12..15—13.00 NET Sz-06 (5.-9- weeks)



Lectures Sociology : Friday, 12.15—13.00 NET Sz-07 (10.-14. weeks)

Practicals Sociology : Friday, 13.00—13.45 NET Sz-07 (10.-14. weeks)


1. week (Lecture + practical) (3 October, 2023) Principles of Medical Ethics (Jozsef Kovacs)


2. week. (Lecture+ practical) (10 October, 2023) Competence and Capacity to Make Health Care Decisions.   Informed Consent I. (Jozsef Kovacs)


3. week (Lecture + practical) (17 October, 2023) Informed Consent II.  Confidentiality and Medical Records (Jozsef Kovacs)

4. week (Lecture+ practical) (24 October, 2023) End of Life Issues  (Jozsef Kovacs)


5. week. (31 October, 2023) Pharmacist-patient,  pharmacist-pharmacist relationship. Pharmacist and society. Malpractice.  (Jozsef Kovacs)


6. week (Lecture+ practical) (10 November, 2023) Introduction to sociology. Basic Concepts The pharmaceutical Aspects of Illness Behaviour  (Dr. Edmond Girasek)


7. week (Lecture+ practical) (17 November, 2023) Inequalities in Health (Dr. Edmond Girasek)


8. week (Lecture+ practical) (24 November, 2023) The pharmaceutical Aspects of Intercultural Healthcare (Bence Döbrössy)


9. week (Lecture+ practical) (1, December, 2023) Healthcare Systems (Dr. Edmond Girasek)


10. week  (Lecture+ practical) (8 December, 2023) Technology and Society (Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy )


Course Faculty (Ethics):

Jozsef Kovacs, MD, PhD,  (Head of the Department of Bioethics), 210-2953; e-mail: (Room 2003)


Institute of Behavioral Sciences

Department of Bioethics

NET Building, 19th, 20th floor

H-1089 Budapest, Nagyvárad tér 4.

Tel: 210-2953


Coordinator of the Sociology component of the course: Bence Döbrössy



Secretary: Csilla Motyovszki, e-mail:

Tel: 210-2930/56114,

NET Building, 20th floor, Room-2015


Course attandance statitstics can be found on NEPTUN in the following way:

Taken courses — options — Course details — Attendance statistics.


Ethics exam:

The ethics exam is written consisting of 20 simple choice questions based on the lectures and the textbook.


Sociology exam:

The sociology exam is written consisting of 25 multiple choice questions based on the lecture material made available on Moodle and on selected chapters of the textbook (Graham Scrambler (ed) Sociology as Applied to Health and Medicine, Palgrave Macmillan  2018)


In order to undertake the exam successfully, students must know the material made available to them on Moodle.

The material covered in the exam is the following:

  • Basic sociological concepts
  • The pharmaceutical Aspects of Illness Behaviour 
  • Inequalities in Health
  • The pharmaceutical Aspects of Intercultural Healthcare
  • Healthcare systems
  • The sociological aspects of technology and society


List of questions for ethics:

  1. The principles of medical ethics
  2. Competence and the capacity to make decisions
  3. Paternalism in medical practice
  4. Informed consent
  5. Withholding and withdrawal of medical treatment
  6. Advance Directives
  7. Do not resuscitate (DNR) orders
  8. Withholding Fluids and Nutrition in terminally ill patients
  9. Physician assisted suicide
  10. Active and Passive Euthanasia
  11. Terminal sedation and the law of double effect
  12. Futile medical care
  13. Determination of death and brain death
  14. Ethical probems of organ donation
  15. Reproductive issues (abortion, contraception, sterilization, donation of sperm and eggs)
  16. HIV related issues (confidentiality, partner notification, HIV-positive health-care workers, refusal to treat HIV-positive patients) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  17. Malpractice
  18. Doctor-patient relationship (beginning and ending the relationship, gifts from patients, doctor/patient sexual contact)
  19. Doctor and society (child abuse, elder abuse, impaired drivers, physician participation in executions, torture, spousal abuse, gunshot wounds, gifts and industry funding)
  20. Doctor-doctor relationship (reporting impaired phyisicians, physician disagreements)
  21. Confidentiality and medical records
  22. Ethical Questions of Human Research



Conrad Fischer—Caterina Oneto (2016): Medical Ethics fot the Boards.  (Third edition) New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

ISBN: 978-1-259-64121-3

MHID 1-25-964121-X


The textbook is available in the following bookshop: Medicina könyvesbolt, Budapest, IX. Üllői út 91/a (tel: 06-1-215-3786)


Textbook for sociology: Graham Scrambler (ed) Sociology as Applied to Health and Medicine, Palgrave Macmillan  2018


Lectures: The power point slides of the lectures can be found at:  

and on the Moodle site of the course

Password is given on the lectures.

A thorough knowledge of the textbook  is the absolute minimum for passing the exam, although  in itself it may not be enough to pass it.

Because the power point  slides contain only the outline of each  lecture, participation on the lectures  is indispensable for a full understanding of the subject.