Issues in Bioethics

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This course is no longer being offered.

Course Description

What will the genomic revolution mean for your future freedom? Are you interested in questions of equity and American health care or global public health challenges? Do you want to study fairness as it relates to topics of surrogacy, "designer" babies, and reproductive rights? Have you ever wondered about what it means to die with dignity? These topics and questions will form the framework for our study.

This course offers an introduction to contemporary issues in bioethics and the politics of health policy. We will examine core ethical issues that arise in the practice of medicine and public health policy, including topics such as: the just allocation of health care resources, recent legal changes concerning end of life decision making, the ethics of new reproductive technologies, as well as questions of human freedom that are raised by the genomic revolution and new gene-editing technologies. Empirical and non-empirical approaches will center our analysis. Texts will include selections from Allen Buchanan, Paul Farmer, Peter Singer, and Michael Sandel, among others.

Learning Objectives
By the end of this course, you should have improved your capacity to:
1. Understand the fundamental ideas, theories, and concepts related to ethical dilemmas in health policy and medicine;
2. Understand how individuals interact with, and are shaped by modern health care systems
3. Think systematically about the ethical dimensions of healthcare, reproduction, death, and advances in biotechnology and biogenetics;
4. Form and express cogent arguments, both orally and in writing, about these issues;
5. Synthesize, analyze, and critically evaluate major arguments about these issues.

Prerequisites: Students should have completed a secondary-level course in biology.


Course Information

  • Course Code: CEME0902
  • Length: 3 weeks

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2019.

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