2019 BTHX Courses

Spring 2019 BTHX Courses
January 22 - May 6

Ethical Issues Related to Novel Biotechnologies









This course examines variety of ethical, legal, and social issues related to novel biotechnologies. The course addresses individual, organization, and public moral significance of novel biotechnologies and situates analysis of ethical issues within domestic and global contexts. The course will draw upon scholarship in health care ethics, health law, and public policy. By the conclusion of the course, seminar participants will have an informed understanding of moral implications of various contemporary biotechnologies. 

Medical Dystopias









Class will use dystopian fiction as an avenue into ethical and social issues in medicine. Texts will include novels such as Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, The New and Improved Romie Futch by Julia Elliott, Geek Love by Kathryn Dunn, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and  Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy, as well as short fiction by George Saunders. We will also examine several films exploring medical themes, including Bladerunner, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Hospital.

Investigative Journalism

This seminar will explore the links between investigative journalism, medicine and bioethics. Students will learn how to write magazine articles, how to investigate medical stories, and how to write query letters to editors. The seminar will examine classic and contemporary works of investigative health journalism, works of literary non-fiction related to medicine, and memoirs by doctors and medical students. It will also examine citizen muckraking, non-profit investigative journalism, the public relations industry, the decline of print journalism and the rise of digital media, and how these developments are shaping the relationship between bioethicists and the press

Intro to Clinical Ethics

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.

Dying in Contemporary Medicine 

DYING IN CONTEMPORARY MEDICINE IS CANCELLED.  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.

Ethical and Legal Issues in Genetic Counseling

This multidisciplinary course is available to graduate students in genetic counseling and other graduate students 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.
Meets with GCD 8914

 Disability Ethics

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.
Meets with MUS 5950-008  Open to Jr, Sr, Grad, Professional 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 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.