PHIL 213
Biomedical Ethics Fall 2012
Division II Writing Skills
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Much like the construction of medical knowledge itself, it is from specific cases that general principles of biomedical ethics arise and are systematized into a theoretical framework, and it is to cases they must return, if they are to be both useful and comprehensible to those making decisions within the biomedical context. In this tutorial we will exploit this characteristic of biomedical ethics by using a case-based approach to examining core concepts of the field. The first portion of the course will be devoted to developing and understanding four moral principles which have come to be accepted as canonical: respect for autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. The remainder of the course will consider key concepts at the core of medical ethics and central issues for the field, such as privacy and confidentiality, the distinction between killing and “letting die,” therapy vs. research, and enhancement vs. therapy. To this end, each week we will (1) read philosophical material focused on one principle or concept, and (2) consider in detail one bioethics case in which the principle or concept has special application or relevance. In some weeks, students will be asked to choose from a small set which case they would like to address; in others the case will be assigned.
The Class: Format: tutorial; students will meet with the professor in pairs for approximately one hour per week, writing and presenting 5- to 7-page essays every other week, and commenting orally on partners' essays in alternate weeks
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1482
Grading: OPG
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on written work, on oral presentations of that work, and on oral critiques
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: declared and prospective Philosophy majors and students committed to taking the tutorial
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: meets Value Theory requirement only if registration is under PHIL
Attributes: INST Global Health Studies Electives
PHIL Contemporary Value Theory Courses
PHLH Bioethics + Interpretations of Health

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