Course code:



I - Introductory

Class size limit:


Typically offered:


Bioethics studies ethical problems that occur in medical practice and the life sciences. Contemporary bioethics is an expansive and fundamentally interdisciplinary field, but this course will consider key dilemmas in bioethics from a philosophical perspective. We will begin by reviewing dominant ethical frameworks, including teleological ethics, deontological ethics, utilitarianism, natural law theory, and virtue ethics. Next, we will discuss specific ethical issues such as, abortion, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, life-sustaining treatments, resource allocation, cloning, biotechnologies, animal research, and informed consent and the doctor-patient relationship. In particular, we will consider how different ethical frameworks shape our assessment of specific ethical dilemmas. My goal in this course is to introduce students to the principles of ethical thinking, to familiarize students with pressing debates in bioethics, and to consider how ethical thinking impacts our response to issues that are politically and socially contentious. Course requirements include class participation, an in-class presentation, a midterm exam, and a final paper.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.