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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nancy A.S. Jecker
MHE 597
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Medical Ethics

Class description

This course introduces students to philosophical concepts and controversies that underlie contemporary bioethical debates. We examine philosophical ideas such as personhood, personal identity over time, autonomy, obligations to distant persons, and justice. We then consider the application of these ideas to contemporary problems in bioethics, such as abortion, animal rights, cloning, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, informed consent, advance care planning, and population health.

This course is intended primarily for graduate and professional students interested in the philosophical roots of contemporary bioethical debates. Undergraduates (juniors and seniors only) admitted on a space-available basis with permission of instructor.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

At least one prior course in philosophy or ethics is recommended.

Class assignments and grading

Students are required to complete four essays. Each essay requires the student to demonstrate mastery of issues and arguments drawn from readings and class discussions. Each essays represents 25% of the student's grade. Extra credit is available for students with a perfect attendance record.

Grades are based on four take-home essays, with extra credit available to students with a perfect attendance record.


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 Nancy A.S. Jecker
Date: 05/17/2008