Medical Ethics in a Global Perspective

Discipline: Public Health
Instructor: Sabin
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 0800
End: 0915
Field Work: Day 1 - Friday, 06 March | India Download Syllabus

This course will introduce students to the field of medical ethics as it has been developed and applied in the countries we visit and the US. Classes will focus on questions that include: Is health care a right or a privilege? What is the role of informed consent in different cultures? Is rationing ethical – and if so, how should it be conducted? How do different societies think about and deal with women’s health, family planning and abortion? What values should guide medical care at the end of life? What are the ethical risks for medical research in developing countries? And, throughout the course, how do different societies deal with health and human rights? Class discussion will focus on real life situations in different cultural settings. We will seek to increase skills in ethical reasoning and in formulating the rationale for our views of the right things to do.

Field Work

Country: India
Day: 1 - Friday, 06 March

We will visit a hospital specializing in medical tourism, in particular in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy. The facility provides services for couples from other countries who travel to India to have their embryos created & implanted into Indian women who will serve as gestational carriers for the couples at a cost significantly less than they would have paid in their home countries. At a second hospital we will explore contraceptive and abortion services in India with practitioners, as a means of family planning, managing Indian population growth, and reducing infant and maternal mortality in India. Academic Objectives: 1. Deepen our understanding of medical tourism and the ethical issues it raises. 2. Deepen our understanding of the “gestational carrier” carrier role and the ethical issues it raises. 3. Deepen our understanding of family planning and abortion in India, with particular emphasis on the ethics of sex selection.