Philosophical Issues in the Professions: Caring Professions [CRN 27394]

Discipline: Philosophy and Religious Studies
Instructor: Cutter
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 10:40
End: 12:00
Field Work: Day 1 | January 31, 2017 | China
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

The objectives of this course are to introduce students to main concepts and theories in the field of biomedical ethics and to give students experience in making and justifying ethical decisions in medicine.  The class considers some of the basic questions of biomedical ethics: What constitutes moral norms, moral character, and moral status in medicine?  How does one normatively judge in medicine?  Are there unifying themes in global biomedical ethics?  The class looks at how biomedical ethicists have answered these questions and how their answers might be relevant to contemporary dilemmas in biomedical ethics.  Readings are taken from a text produced by well-respected western biomedical ethicists and are supplemented by case studies drawn from around the globe.  In the course, students have a chance to consider basic questions of right and wrong in medicine in a global comparative context, and, in doing so, gain experience in thinking critically, reasoning carefully, and writing articulately.

Field Work

Country: China
Day: 1
Date: January 31, 2017

In this field class, we visit with a Dr. Wei Zhu, Professor of Biomedical Ethics at Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and discuss the biomedical ethical challenges faced by Chinese health care practitioners and patients. In the afternoon, we visit the University of Shanghai Chinese Traditional Medicine Museum to learn about Chinese traditional medicine. We discuss how Chinese traditional medical practices work integrates with contemporary biomedically-based clinical practices in China today. In keeping with the themes of the class, we discuss the ethical issues raised by the challenges we learn about in the contexts of patient rights, patient welfare, and social justice.

Learning Objectives:
1. Deepen our understanding of the biomedical ethical issues raised in Chinese health care today
2. Deepen our understanding of Chinese Traditional Medicine
3. Deepen our understanding of how Chinese Traditional Medicine works with contemporary biomedically-based approaches in medicine