Overview of Course
The course explores the area of study called biomedical ethics. It involves students in: (1) studying main concepts and theories in the field of biomedical ethics, and (2) developing and justifying ethical decisions about case studies in medicine. The course considers some of the basic questions of biomedical ethics: What constitutes moral norms, moral character, and moral status in medicine? What is required in order to respect patient autonomy, promote patient best interest, and advance social justice in medicine? How does one make an ethical decision in medicine? On the minds of those traveling as we do, are there unifying themes in biomedical ethics in a global context? The class looks at how biomedical ethicists have answered these questions and how their answers are relevant in contemporary dilemmas in biomedical ethics. Readings are provided by western and eastern biomedical ethicists and are supplemented by case studies drawn from the countries we visit. In the course, students consider questions concerning ethics in a global comparative context, and, in doing so, gain experience in thinking critically, reasoning carefully, and writing thoughtfully about biomedical ethical matters.