PHIL 242 A: Introduction To Medical Ethics

Meeting Time: 
TTh 9:00am - 10:20am
THO 101
Carina Fourie
Carina Fourie

Syllabus Description:

Welcome to the course!


Lectures: Tue & Thu, 9.00-10.20am THO 101

Lecturer Carina Fourie. Office Hours: Tue 1.00-3.00pm in Savery Hall 389.            

AA & AB QSI: Blake Hereth. Office Hours: Tue & Thu 1.30-2.30pm.

AC & AD QSI: Joey Miller. Office Hours: Tue & Thu 12.00-1.00pm.

 For the full syllabus including the course overview, please download the PDF:

242 Syllabus


Required for the class:

1. Arguing about Bioethics (2012) Stephen Holland (ed.). Routledge. Available from the UW Bookstore

2. Poll Everywhere Device (e.g. laptop, tablet, phone). If you do not have access to a device, please borrow one from UW Student Technology Loan:




Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: The Selection & Enhancement of Offspring

Week 3: Informed Consent

Week 4: Decision-making and the right to refuse treatment

Week 5: Acquiring Organs for Transplant

Week 6: Physician-assisted suicide

Week 7 (a): An Intro to Clinical Ethics in Context

Week 7 (b): Social justice, health care systems & health disparities

Week 8 (a): Social justice, health care systems & health disparities CNTD

Week 8 (b): Bias and Discrimination in the Clinic

Week 9 (a): Bias and Incentives in the Clinic

Week 9 (b): Revision & Exam Guidance

Week 10: Cross-Cultural Bioethics


Additional Details:

Who should decide what is best for the patient? When, if at all, is physician-assisted suicide permissible? How should we distribute scarce health care resources fairly? Health care workers, such as physicians and nurses, will be confronted by a multitude of moral challenges during their professional practice. This course provides an introduction to medical ethics aimed at developing students’ abilities to recognize and assess moral conflicts and challenges pertinent to clinical practice. The course also introduces students to evaluating the wider ethical context in which clinical decisions are made, such as identifying whether or not the health care insurance system is just. Topics covered include the right of patients to refuse treatment, the acquisition of organs for transplant, the implicit biases of health care professionals, and the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act.

TEXT: Arguing about Bioethics, Stephen Holland, ed. Additional course materials will be available on Canvas.

Catalog Description: 
Introduction to ethics, primarily for first- and second-year students. Emphasizes philosophical thinking and writing through an in-depth study of philosophical issues arising in the practice of medicine. Examines the issues of medical ethics from a patient's point of view.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:15pm