NVCC COLLEGE-WIDE COURSE CONTENT SUMMARY
PHI 227 - BIO-MEDICAL ETHICS (3 CR.)

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Examines the ethical implications of specific biomedical issues in the context of major ethical systems. Lecture 3 hours per week.

GENERAL COURSE PURPOSE

To introduce the student to important controversies in biology and medicine which have ethical dimensions. To examine these issues in the context of ethical theory. To show the importance of critical analysis and ethical theory for the resolution of these dilemmas.

ENTRY LEVEL REQUIREMENTS

None

COURSE OBJECTIVES

At the completion of this course, the student will be able to evaluate important controversies in medicine and biology in terms of major ethical theories. Specifically, the student will be able to:

A. Discuss and define relevant concepts, such as "death", "whole brain death", "suicide", "fully informed consent", "extraordinary means", "euthanasia", "genetic engineering", in IVF and cloning, etc.

B. Identify and evaluate the principal ethical theories, including Classical, Natural law, Kantian, Utilitarian, and social contract theories.

C. Use these theories in the analysis of biological and medical controversies.

D. Demostrate the role of reason and argument in ethical decision making both in discussion forums and on tests.

MAJOR ELEMENTS OF CONTENT

Critical attention will be given to the following topics:

A. Problems surrounding the changing definition of "death"

B. Lying to the dying and terminally ill

C. Fully informed Consent and autonomy

D. Rights of patients in life-threatening situations

E. Suicide

F. The many kinds of Euthanasia

G. Problems of neonatal deformities

H. In vitro fertilization and the others forms of Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART)

I. Surrogate motherthood

J. Ethics of transplantation

K. Problems of allocating scarce medical resources

L. Genetic engineering in ART

Revised 5/2013


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