PHI 227 Biomedical Ethics


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I. Broad Purpose of the Course

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic concepts, distinctions, and principles of biomedical ethics.

II. Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course participants will be expected to:
  1. be familiar with the major theories of normative ethics, their strengths and their weaknesses.
  2. be able to analyze some specific biomedical issues and evaluate the different arguments advanced for or against paternalism, euthanasia, genetic engineering, etc.
  3. investigate the revolt against the idea that the purpose of moral philosophy is to develop moral theories such as utilitarianism and contractarianism which seek to articulate principles that can be deductively used to guide behavior.
  4. be aware of the limitation of ethical theories and come to a better understanding of what ethical theory can offer to those grappling with practical moral problems.

III. Evaluation and Grading

Evaluation is based on the following four assignments:
  1. Two exams
  2. A final
  3. A presentation of a case in bioethics or an article in the textbook

IV. Required Texts

Arras, John & Steinbock, Bonnie. Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine, 6th edition. State university of New York Press, 1999.

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Last updated: April, 2001