This course examines the interface of biological science and ethical concerns by employing philosophical principles and procedures—first to clarify bioethical problems, and then to develop attempts at resolving them.
In Bioethics: Technology, Science and Human Rights, we will examine bioethics in a global context via four modules: reproductive ethics, end of life ethics, patient’s rights and autonomy, and the ethics of medical experimentation. The complex interface between culture and ethics will be examined on these questions, mainly in addressing the question of global competition and debates around patient autonomy.
Reproductive ethics requires us to think about the very beginning of life, our choices and actions with regard to future generations, and what we take to be the human person and its value. End of life decision-making is increasingly urgent because of the increase of the human lifespan via technology, and it too raises key questions about human values at the opposite end of the life cycle. The questions involved in patients’ rights and autonomy reflect a major shift in medical culture from “doctor knows best” to a stronger role for the citizen in determining his or her medical treatment. This requires us to reflect upon professional roles and responsibilities, who gets what treatment and care, as well as individual liberty. In examining the ethics of medical experimentation, we will discuss the treatment of both humans and animals in attempting to solve key challenges facing medical progress.
Course restriction: Matriculated Syracuse students may earn credit for PHI 494 or PHI 594/REL 552, but not both.
Semesters: Fall, Spring