Religion, Ethics, and Public Health
SPH PH 728
This course will introduce students to the health related aspects of a variety of Western and Eastern religious and ethical traditions, health controversies that exist within those traditions, methods that can be used to reconcile public health needs with religious and ethical traditions. Through review of case studies, students will be challenged to harmonize public health priorities with cultural beliefs in a way that best serves the community. For example, we will study the religious and ethical controversy inherent in major public health issues such as exemptions to mandatory vaccination laws, sex education in public schools, statues outlawing female genital cutting, life support withdrawal, determination of death, faith healing, fetal stem cell research and allocation of scarce resources. Ultimately, students will generate a robust conceptual framework, enabling a nuanced approach to some of the most critical topics in the field of public health.