This is an introductory philosophy class on medical ethics. Some of the topics we will discuss include: reproductive ethics (especially concerning genetic testing), definitions of health, disease and disability, end of life care (advance directives, assisted suicide, euthanasia), cases in which the practice of medicine clashes with the values of other groups and/or cultures, and the ethics of neural technologies such as Brain Computer-Interfaces. Texts will include philosophical papers, legal texts, and work from the medical humanities. We will begin with the introduction of ethical theories, which provide ethical frameworks to analyze particular cases. One of the broader issues we consider is the relation between science and society; more specifically, how medical science impacts human lives, and whether it is something of concern.
TEXTS: Genetic Dilemmas: Reproductive Technology, Parental Choices, and Children’s Futures, Dena Davis; The Spirit Catches You and Then You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, Anne Fadiman.