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Medical Ethics (PHIL 2121)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course explores contemporary ethical issues surrounding medicine as a whole, the medical industry, medical professionals, those affiliated with the medical field, health policy and patients. You will examine topics such as abortion and reproductive issues, allocation of medical resources, end-of-life care, informed consent and patient rights, medical research ethics, and genetic engineering. You will learn and apply moral theories to these topics, develop practical and critical thinking skills and cultivate a sensitivity towards the complexity of the issues that impact patients, health care, medical professionals and consumers and producers of medical information.

Topical Outline:
1. Survey of Ethical Theories (e.g. Consequentialism, Deontological Theories, Virtue Ethics, Care Ethics)
2. Life, Reproduction, and Dying (e.g. Abortion and Reproductive Rights, Physician-Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia, Genetic Engineering)
3. Patient Rights and Responsibilities (e.g. Informed Consent, Autonomy, Privacy and Confidentiality, Medical Enhancement, Medical Tourism)
4. Practitioner Rights and Responsibilities (e.g. Human Research Subjects, Nonhuman Research Subjects, Conflict of Interest)
5. Policy and Production of Medical Knowledge (e.g. Allocation of Medical Resources, Research Ethics, Pharmaceutical and Device Industries)

Learning Outcomes:
1. Develop social responsibility skills such as empathy, self-reflection on assumptions and biases, adaptation of one's behavior in light of different social contexts, and the ability to apply course concepts in personal and professional contexts
2. Assess a variety of issues in medical ethics
3. Apply theories to a selection of issues in medical ethics
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between medical ethics and culture, religion, race, and sexuality

Prerequisites:  Placement into READ 1300 or completion of READ 0200 or ESOL 0052

  • Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility