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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Walter S. Clifton
PHIL 242
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Medical Ethics

Introduction to ethics, primarily for first- and second-year students. Emphasizes philosophical thinking and writing through an in-depth study of philosophical issues arising in the practice of medicine. Examines the issues of medical ethics from a patient's point of view.

Class description

In this course, we will explore several areas of ethical inquiry in the medical and related research fields. The issues we will discuss relate to the beginning of life (prenatal genetic testing), the end of life (advance directives, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia), the optimization of life (genetic enhancement, cloning), the valuing of life (human and animal testing for research purposes, truth-telling, informed consent), and the regulation of life (the micro- and macro-allocation of healthcare). We will approach these issues utilizing various prominent ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, deontology, and care ethics. At least one previous philosophy course is recommended. TEXT: Bioethics: An Anthology, Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Annette R. Bernier
Date: 01/23/2012