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In this course we will examine traditional philosophical approaches to understanding death and related concepts, with a special focus on the ethical concerns surrounding death and care for the dying. We will begin with questions about how to define death, as well as reflections on its meaning and function in human life. We will move on to examine ethical issues of truth-telling with terminally ill patients and their families, decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatments, the care of seriously ill newborns, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, and posthumous interests. In addition to key concepts of death, dying, and terminal illness, we will develop and refine notions of medical futility, paternalism and autonomy, particularly within the context of advance directives and surrogate decision making.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
class attendance and participation, periodic short essays (3 or 4 total, 2-3 pages each), two mid-length papers (5-7 pages and 7-10 pages, respectively); possible experiential learning component
PHIL Contemporary Value Theory Courses
PHLH Bioethics + Interpretations of Health