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Introduction to Bioethics

This course will provide an in-depth exploration of the field of bioethics. Study a range of bioethical challenges and conflicts, including those confronted by individuals, families, healthcare providers, and policymakers. Also, examine and discuss pivotal decisions—many of which affect both life and death—that are related to medical treatments and interventions, research, and policy decisions. Each lesson will present content in the form of questions and potential answers that stimulate group discussions and activities. In class, focus on practical problem solving for cases that may arise in both healthcare facilities and in the broader public health context. The goal of the course is to enable you to facilitate ethical decision-making in your professional and personal lives and to be a better-informed citizen. The course will draw upon historical examples, case studies, and cases upon which the instructor, Professor Arthur Caplan, was asked to consult as a leading bioethicist.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • A basic understanding of major bioethical concepts
  • Knowledge of the history and evolution of bioethics as a field of study and practice
  • The ability to extrapolate the ethical reasoning behind decisions that resulted from controversial medical and research cases and news stories that reported on them
  • The ability to demonstrate modes of thinking through an ethical problem
  • The capacity to analyze the importance that bioethics plays in helping individuals, families, healthcare providers, and policymakers make pivotal health decisions

Ideal for

  • Professionals who work in public health research, program planning, implementation, and evaluation
  • Anyone interested in the field of bioethics for personal or professional reasons

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