Bioethics (Fall 2011)

Bioethics (Fall 2011) - Final ExamBioethics

PHIL 261-01 | ID 11207 | TR 10:00-11:50 | Room: Craid-Lee 050 | Fall 2011

Course Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Aaron Smuts | | office hours: 219 Alger Hall, 12:00-12:30 TR


Is medical research on human subjects a form of exploitation? Should people be allowed to sell their organs? Is abortion murder? Should we treat depression with drugs? Just what is a mental disorder? Are psychopaths morally responsible? These are a few of the question that we will explore in this class. This is just a small sample of the issues discussed in bio-medical ethics.

In addition to the core issues of human subject testing, organ selling, and abortion, in the last third of the semester we will explore some of the fascinating problems in the recent field of neuroethics. Here we will ask about the nature of mental illness, the morality of psychopharmacology, and the use of performance enhancing drugs. Finally, we will discuss the ethics of transhumanism—a theory advocating radical enhancement through biotechnology

This course is not designed to provide decisive answers to all the tough problems that face health professionals. Rather, the principal goal of the course is to improve our ability to think critically about moral problems. We will see to what extent it is possible to provide reasons for considered moral judgments.


First Exam

Final Exam