PHIL 228
Feminist Bioethics Fall 2016 Division II; Writing-Intensive; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Cross-listed as PHIL228 / WGSS228
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In this course we’ll explore the ways in which feminist approaches to moral thinking have influenced both the methodology and the content of contemporary bioethics. The first portion of the course will address the emergence of the “Ethics of Care,” critically assessing its origins in feminist theory, its development within the context of the caring professions, and its potential as a general approach to bioethical reasoning. The second portion of the course will use feminist philosophy to inform our understanding of the ways in which gender structures the individual’s interactions with the health care system. To do this we’ll explore topics that might traditionally be considered “women’s issues” in health care, such as medicine and body image (e.g., cosmetic surgery, eating disorders), reproductive and genetic technologies, and research on women and their health care needs. In addition we’ll also look at feminist analyses of topics that traditionally have not been regarded as “gendered,” such as resource allocation and end of life issues. As a course offered under the Exploring Diversity Initiative, this class is designed to improve students’ ability to recognize both the existence and the effects of gender disparities within the health care context, and in particular, how power and privilege within and beyond medicine contribute to gender inequalities in health and medical treatment. Moreover, students will theorize about ways of conceptualizing and of reforming health care interactions in order to reduce or eliminate those gender inequalities.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 8-10
Class#: 1821
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation in class discussions, two mid-length papers (7-10 pp. each), one oral presentation, and periodic short writing assignments (four or five, app. 2 pp. each)
Prerequisites: none, although previous coursework in WGSS is desirable
Enrollment Preference: Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Philosophy majors
Department Notes: meets Contemporary Value Theory requirement only if registration is under PHIL
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive; Exploring Diversity Initiative;
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives; JLST Interdepartmental Electives; PHIL Contemporary Value Theory Courses; PHLH Bioethics + Interpretations of Health;

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