Topics course: This seminar asks what medical anthropology can contribute to the study and practice of medical ethics. We begin with a historical overview and introduce the field’s core vocabulary and theoretical paradigms. We then turn to the role of the social sciences in the evolving discussion of medical ethics, noting the late engagement of medical anthropology. A core question is whether there is a meaningful distinction between an anthropology of medical ethics and an anthropology in medical ethics. Students select a medical ethics issue to explore in depth, with the goal of determining the sociocultural context that has shaped the way the issue is framed.