Bioethics Courses

Fall 2019 BTHX Courses

September 3 - December 11

BTHX 5110 8110 Ethical Issues in Pediatrics image

This course offers an interdisciplinary forum to explore the major issues of applied bioethics in the care of children. A brief review of moral theory and the history, philosophy, and sociology of childhood will provide the context for pediatric bioethics. It will move into topical discussion of major issues including who decides for the child, child development and how to account for emerging autonomy. This course is intended to reach across the spectrum of both professional and academic disciplines working with children such as medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, law, public health, and education, as well as child development, anthropology, and philosophy.

BTHX 5120 / 8120 Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture image

The goals of this course are to achieve a greater understanding of death and dying in contemporary society, to explore the ethics of dying, and to provide a space for reflection on one's own death. Open to upper level undergrads at 5000-level. 8000-level course will require additional work.

BTHX 5210 Ethics of Human Subjects Research image

Course addresses ethics and policy issues in research on human subjects, including an examination of the policy history, the changing models of oversight, and analysis of possible approaches for oversight of controversial areas of science.

BTHX 5325 Biomedical Ethics image

This course examines issues in bioethics spanning clinical ethics, public health ethics, and research ethics. The course also introduces conceptual frameworks and methods that can be used to analyze these issues. To fully understand and evaluate these complex issues, it is critical that we consider them from a diversity of perspectives. Hence, we will spend most of our time in class discussion, openly and respectfully listening to and engaging with each other in interdisciplinary/interprofessional conversation.  *Course has been approved for Interprofessional Education (IPE) credit for health professions students. 

Courses of Individual Study

BTHX 5900/8900 Independent / Advanced Independent Study in Bioethics (1-4 cr)
Arranged with Center Faculty
Students propose an area for study with faculty guidance, expressed in a written proposal which includes outcome objectives and work plan. A faculty member directs the student’s work and evaluates their project.

BTHX 8500 Practicum in Bioethics (1-3 cr)
Arranged with Center Faculty
This course provides supervised placement to apply knowledge and skills learned through work in core courses. An individualized plan is developed between student, bioethics adviser or DGS, and mentor at practicum site.

BTHX 8777 – Master’s Thesis Credits
All Master’s Plan A and Professional Master’s in Engineering (Design Track) students are required to register for 10 semester credits of 8777.

BTHX 8755 – Plan B Capstone (1-7 cr)
Students in Plan B are required to complete 7 capstone project credits as determined between student and advisor, culminating in a capstone project relevant to their interests, experience, and intended use of the MA in Bioethics. Students will design the project and its corollary product in conjunction with the full MA committee. Written report required. Prequisite: Advanced Plan B MA student.

All BTHX Courses

Complete Listing of Curriculum in BTHX (Bioethics) Designator
*Note: Not all courses are taught every academic year. 

BTHX 5000 – Topics in Bioethics (1-4 cr)
Topics courses provide an opportunity for study of bioethics topics of contemporary interest. Topics covered vary from semester to semester.

BTHX 5010 – Bioethics Proseminar (2 cr)
The Proseminar will familiarize graduate students with a wide range of topics in bioethics and the work of a number of faculty affiliated with the program, to help students select mentors and research programs. 

BTHX 5100 – Introduction to Clinical Ethics (3 cr)
This course uses real cases to examine the most frequent ethical problems faced by clinicians, patients and families, and ethics consultants. Topics include forgoing life sustaining treatment, decisional capacity, informed consent, treatment refusals, death and dying, pediatric ethics, reproductive issues, research ethics, psychiatric illness and more. This course is intended for students in all fields, practicing clinicians, and members of ethics committees and consulting services.

BTHX 5110 – Ethical Issues in Pediatrics (2 cr)
This course offers an interdisciplinary forum to explore the major issues of applied bioethics in the care of children. A brief review of moral theory and the history, philosophy, and sociology of childhood will provide the context for pediatric bioethics. It will move into topical discussion of major issues including who decides for the child, child development and how to account for emerging autonomy. This course is intended to reach across the spectrum of both professional and academic disciplines working with children such as medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, law, public health, and education, as well as child development, anthropology, and philosophy.

BTHX 5120 – Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture (2 cr)
The goals of this course are to achieve a greater understanding of death and dying in contemporary society, to explore the ethics of dying, and to provide a space for reflection on one's own death. Open to upper level undergrads at 5000-level. 8000-level course will require additional work.

BTHX 5210 – Ethics of Human Subjects Research (3 cr)
This course addresses ethics and policy issues in research on human subjects, including an examination of the policy history, the changing models of oversight, and analysis of possible approaches for oversightof controversial areas of science.

BTHX 5300 – Foundations of Bioethics (3 cr)
This course provides an overview of major theoretical frameworks and foundational issues in bioethics.

BTHX 5325 – Biomedical Ethics (3 cr)
This course examines issues in bioethics spanning clinical ethics, public health ethics, and research ethics. The course also introduces conceptual frameworks and methods that can be used to analyze these issues. To fully understand and evaluate these complex issues, it is critical that we consider them from a diversity of perspectives. Hence, we will spend most of our time in class discussion, openly and respectfully listening to and engaging with each other in interdisciplinary/interprofessional conversation.  *Course has been approved for Interprofessional Education (IPE) credit for health professions students. 

BTHX 5400 – Introduction to Bioethics in Health Policy (3 cr)
This course provides an introduction to ethical issues in health policy. Topics will vary to reflect issues of current significance. Discussion will relate to law and politics as appropriate, but will focus on moral analyses of policy issues.

BTHX 5411 – Health Law & Policy (cross listed with LAW 6611) (3 cr)
This seminar addresses the organization of health care delivery; physician-patient relationship, informed consent, quality control, responses to harm and error, including through medical malpractice litigation, access and proposals for reform.

BTHX 5453 – Law, Biomedicine, and Bioethics (cross listed with LAW 6853) (3 cr)
This seminar examines law and bioethics as means of controlling important biomedical developments, and discusses the relationship of law and bioethics and their role in governing biomedical research, reproductive decision-making, assisted reproduction, genetic testing/screening, genetic manipulation, cloning, the definition of death, use of life-sustaining treatment, and organ transplantation. 

BTHX 5510 - Gender & the Politics of Health (3 cr)
This course explores the moral and political importance of gender in topics related to health. These issues are situated within their institutional and broader social contexts. This course is appropriate for a wide audience including students from the health professions, philosophy, social science, and law.

BTHX 5540 - Bioethics, Psychiatry & Psychology (3 cr)
Explore philosophical and ethical issues in psychiatry and psychology. Potential topics include the moral responsibility of psychopaths for their actions, false memories of Satanic ritual abuse, insanity pleas, the sociology of institutionalization, clinical trials of psychiatric drugs, cosmetic psychopharmacology, recent work in experimental philosophy; and classic experiments in social psychology.  

BTHX 5610 – Bioethics Research and Publication Seminar (1 cr)
This seminar is a how-to course in academic publication. It focuses on scientific papers and addresses career publication strategy, selecting publication venues, literature searching, resolving authorship issues, ethics in publication, and special topics in manuscript formatting (structure abstract, paper sections, citations, footnotes, and acknowledgments).

BTHX 5620 – Social Context of Health and Illness (3 cr)
This course examines the social context in which contemporary meanings of health and illness are understood by providers and patients, and discusses their ethical implications. Course readings will be drawn from history, social science, literature, and first person accounts. 

BTHX 5630 - Bioethics Colloquium (1 cr)
This is a master's core curriculum option, open to Bioethics Graduate Students only.
Students will attend presentations of their choice from a variety of departments and programs across campus or beyond that deal in some way with ethics as a theoretical and/or applied concept including but not limited to the fields of social science, law, public policy, and global health. This colloquium is designed to foster thinking about how these disparate frameworks and practices can be usefully put into conversation with bioethics and with the student's own research. Students submit reflections on colloquia presentations to the Director of Graduate Studies. 

BTHX 5650 - Disability Ethics (3 cr)
This course will examine ethical issues pertaining to disability, with an emphasis on discussion and consideration of widely contrasting perspectives.  Issues discussed include physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, selective abortion, cochlear implant technology, sterilization, special versus inclusive education, Universal Design/Universal Instructional Design, disability accommodations, and built and social environments, examined within, social, legal, policy, and cultural environments.  Assignments include, readings, viewings, journaling, field projects, and research papers. 

BTHX 5900 – Independent Study in Bioethics (1-4 cr)
Students propose an area for study with faculty guidance, expressed in a written proposal which includes outcome objectives and work plan. A faculty member directs the student's work and evaluates their project.

BTHX 8000 – Advanced Topics in Bioethics (1-4 cr)
Advanced Topics courses provide an opportunity for advanced study of bioethics topics of contemporary interest. Topics covered vary from semester to semester.

BTHX 8114 – Genetic Counseling Issues (cross listed with GCD 8914) (3 cr)
This multidisciplinary course is available to graduate students in genetic counseling and others interested in ethical and legal issues that are faced by health care practitioners who see clients with genetic concerns. Students learn how to review and assess relevant scientific and bioethics literature and engage in the process of individual and group decision-making about current ethical and legal challenges in human genetics.

This course offers an interdisciplinary forum to explore the major issues of applied bioethics in the care of children. A brief review of moral theory and the history, philosophy, and sociology of childhood will provide the context for pediatric bioethics. It will move into topical discussion of major issues including who decides for the child, child development and how to account for emerging autonomy. This course is intended to reach across the spectrum of both professional and academic disciplines working with children such as medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, law, public health, and education, as well as child development, anthropology, and philosophy.

BTHX 8120 – Dying in Contemporary Culture
The goals of this course are to achieve a greater understanding of death and dying in contemporary society, to explore the ethics of dying, and to provide a space for reflection on one's own death. Open to upper level undergrads at 5000-level. 8000-level course will require additional work.

BTHX 8333 – Master’s FTE
8333 is a one-credit registration option for eligible master’s students who must certify full-time status to be in compliance with requirements of the University and/or external agencies (e.g., employment as a graduate assistant; loan deferment). Students eligible for 8333 can be employed in one of the low-tuition/low-fringe job classes.

BTHX 8500 – Practicum in Bioethics (1-3 cr)
This course provides supervised placement to apply knowledge and skills learned through work in core courses. An individualized plan is developed between student, bioethics adviser or DGS, and mentor at practicum site.

BTHX 8510 – Gender and the Politics of Health (3 cr)
This course explores the moral and political importance of gender in topics related to health. These issues are situated within their institutional and broader social contexts. This course is appropriate for a wide audience including students from the health professions, philosophy, social science, and law.

BTHX 8610 – Medical Consumerism (3 cr)
Two related movements have emerged in American health care. The first is an emphasis on medical enhancement, or the use of medical technologies to improve the looks, performance and psychological well-being of people who are healthy. The second is the submission of the American health care system to the machinery of consumer capitalism. This seminar will use an interdisciplinary set of texts to explore the implications of medical consumerism. How is the consumerist model of medicine shaping our concepts of disease and disability? What larger historical developments have led to our current situation? How are the tools of medical enhancement shaping the way we think about our identities and the way we live our lives?

BTHX 8755 – Plan B Capstone (1-7 cr)

Students in Plan B are required to complete 7 capstone project credits as determined between student and advisor, culminating in a capstone project relevant to their interests, experience, and intended use of the MA in Bioethics. Students will design the project and its corollary product in conjunction with the full MA committee. Written report required. Prequisite: Advanced Plan B MA student.

BTHX 8777 – Master’s Thesis Credits
*Master’s Plan A students are required to register for a total of 10 semester credits of 8777.
*Master’s Plan B students must arrange program approval for a combination of Practicum (8500) and Thesis  (8777) to total 7 required credits.

Students propose an area for advanced study with faculty guidance, expressed in a written proposal which includes outcome objectives and work plan. A faculty member directs the student's work and evaluates their project.

Past BTHX Courses

The Center for Bioethics has archived course descriptions for past semesters.

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002