The purpose of this course is to introduce basic concepts in bioethics and provide an opportunity for discussing important ethical issues and controversies in modern healthcare, especially those that relate to the use of pharmaceuticals. We will survey topics in medical ethics ranging from normative moral theories and their roots in philosophical and religious traditions, to the application of ethical principles to specific issues facing us today. Such issues include clinical research, justice in the allocation of health-related resources, use of reproductive technologies, and end-of-life issues.
The emphasis in this course will be on the ethical use of drugs in medical practice and issues relating to the production, distribution, and use of pharmaceuticals. We will spend time on individual patient/healthcare professional interactions, but will also include the health of communities and the policies and practices relevant to public health.
Upon completion of this course, the student will:
- Gain a greater appreciation for the complexity of ethical issues in health care and the reasoning that may be applied to support opposing viewpoints
- Become more aware of one’s own ethical standpoint and background and the basis from which one’s own moral reasoning proceeds
- Understand general ethical theories and the major principles of bioethics, and be able to apply them to practical contemporary issues
- Be able to analyze situations or policies, identifying the ethical factors and conflicts, and provide a reasoned and defensible course of action for addressing them
- Be able to examine critically and respond intelligently to ethical issues in verbal and written formats
- Be able to argue for one’s own ethical standpoint constructively and politely, and allow for others to do the same
*Please note that this syllabus is subject to change. Use the updated syllabus in Canvas as the official course syllabus.