Instructor: David Faraci. This course meets TR 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. in CW 103.
Few things raise more pressing and more difficult ethical questions than health care, and the related biological sciences. This course is intended to prepare students to think critically about the numerous questions in these areas that are likely to confront them in their lives, whether as patients, care-takers, and citizens, or as professionals in medical or related fields. Throughout the semester, we will consider a number of practical issues which raise important ethical questions: Issues such as doctor/patient confidentiality, involuntary medical treatment, and research ethics lead us to examine the purpose of medicine and, more specifically, the potential conflict between the value of benefiting individuals and/or society and the value of respecting individuals’ rights to decide how to live their lives. Issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and cloning lead us to consider the nature and value of personhood, and the extent and nature of our obligations to others. In many cases, we will also look at what happens when an issue is viewed from an individualistic vs. a societal perspective, and will also discuss some issues which fit more squarely into the “societal” category, such as whether there is a right to health care.