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Bioethics is the interdisciplinary study of ethical issues arising in health care, the biological sciences, and emerging technologies. Scientific advancements and rapid technological change result in — and hence require — a range of difficult ethical decisions, and it is vital that people are equipped to think clearly and critically about the social, moral, and political issues involved.
The bioethics minor is intended for students with a wide variety of academic interests and career goals. It is particularly suitable for those pursuing careers in medicine, public policy, law, bioengineering, the life sciences, public health, journalism, and philosophy. Courses will address foundational moral questions concerning life in all its forms together with specific case studies.
The Bioethics minor consists of four courses – two required courses and two electives chosen from this list (16 credits total). Both required courses are being offered in Spring 2018.
Note: Please be aware that students may not count a course towards both the Bioethics minor and their major degree requirements.
Required Core Courses:
UGPH-GU 15: Introduction to Bioethics (4 credits)
This course provides a survey of contemporary issues in bioethics. Students will be introduced to a variety of ethical issues and questions arising in health care and the biological sciences, as well as with emerging technologies. Topics include the moral status of animals, personhood at the margins of life, abortion and infanticide, euthanasia and suicide, the nature of health and well-being, disability and mental illness, autonomy and addiction, paternalism and manipulation, genetic engineering and human enhancement, geoengineering and de-extinction, and the allocation of scarce medical resources.
UGPH-GU 25: Public Health Ethics (4 credits)
This course provides a survey of contemporary issues in Public Health Ethics. Students will be introduced to a variety of ethical issues and cases concerning public health, both globally and domestically. Much of the course will focus on how the pursuit and promotion of public health can come into conflict with individual autonomy, privacy, and social justice, and on how to think about the relation of health to human welfare more broadly. Topics include the nature of health and well-being, the right to health care, obesity prevention, tobacco control, infectious disease control (such as Ebola and Zika), childhood vaccination efforts, breastfeeding promotion, public health messaging, health inequalities and marginalized populations, global public health and resource allocation, and global health justice.
A full list of elective courses and their descriptions can be found here.