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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Johanna Crane
BIS 380
Bothell Campus


Explores concepts and questions in the field of bioethics and addresses key debates from different philosophical, social, and cultural perspectives.

Class description

Since the mid-20th century, biomedical techniques and technologies have become increasingly complex. The development of powerful life-saving drugs, successful organ transplantation techniques, life-support technologies, and genetic testing and stem cell research are posing complex and important questions about the ethics of biomedical care and research in contemporary, global society. The field of bioethics arose in response to these questions. In this course, we will examine the historical roots of bioethics, learn some of the field’s guiding principles, and explore several areas of current bioethical debate.

Student learning goals

Understand the historical circumstances behind the emergence of bioethics as a field in the United States.

Become familiar with the core principles of bioethics and their articulation in national and international codes of bioethics.

Be able to examine bioethical questions from multiple viewpoints, and in different social, economic, and cultural contexts.

Articulate thoughtful, well-supported arguments in response to bioethical controversies in contemporary society.

General method of instruction

Primary methods of instruction will include in-class discussion and debate, small group workshops, readings, writing assignments, and some lecture.

Recommended preparation

You must be capable of reading, understanding, and writing about scholarly articles in the social sciences. You must be committed to coming to class having completed the assigned readings and prepared to discuss them. You should expect between 25-50 pages of assigned reading per class meeting.

Class assignments and grading

Class participation, quizzes, papers, in-class debate presentation (group assignment), in-class exams.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Johanna Crane
Date: 10/23/2012