American Bioethics

KHC PH 101

Bioethics is the systematic study of the moral dimensions of the life sciences and health care. We will examine various approaches to moral dilemmas, including deontological, utilitarian, and pragmatic methods, as well as the human rights and social justice paradigms. American bioethics is often outcome-oriented, and reflects and magnifies four deeply- ingrained American characteristics: we are individualistic, technology- driven, death-denying, and wasteful. These characteristics make "reforming" American healthcare extremely contentious. This introductory course addresses a wide variety of bioethics challenges in the context of American life and politics, from assisted conception to assisted death, from day-to-day medical care to extreme medical research, from brain death to life-saving organ transplantation, emphasizing how decisions are actually made in the US medical care setting, and the central roles of informed consent and legal liability. The Affordable Care Act, especially opposition to some of its provisions that are grounded in religious freedom, philosophy, and conscious objection, will be explored. Trying to understand how American bioethics "works," and why our "best in the world" healthcare system is so resistant to change, will be constant challenges in this seminar. CAS Divisional Assignment: SS; KHC Assignment: SS

FALL 2016 Schedule

Section Instructor Location Schedule Notes
A1 Annas CGS 111B TR 8:00 am-9:30 am Khc Freshmen

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