Medical Ethics

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UMass Amherst
An introduction to ethics through issues of medicine and health care. Topics include abortion, treatment of impaired infants, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, truth-telling, medical experimentation on human beings and on animals, and the allocation of scarce medical resources. (Gen.Ed. AT)
Open to RAP students in Perspectives in Health Topics in Kennedy Hall PHIL 164-07

Political discourse right now is as contentious as anyone living in America can remember. People are often lining up on opposite sides of moral issues and refusing to dialogue with one another. This course will provide an opportunity to step outside of that environment, creating a space where we can carefully examine all sides (often more than two of them!) of important ethical issues that have direct implications for medical practice and political legislation. We will create a safe and respectful environment for fruitful discussion, where we can really consider multiple points of view and try to get to solid truth on hard questions like:

(1) Is it okay to end a person's life if they ask you to? If they're in pain? If they're dying anyways?

(2) Is a fetus a person? If so, could it ever be okay to kill it? If not, could it ever be wrong to kill it?

(3) Is there a right to medical care? Will the answer be different in consideration for different groups of people?

(4) What are the best norms for practicing medicine? Should we favor Evidence Based Medicine over Personalized Medicine? Should we always respect patients' wishes, or are we allowed to do what's best for them sometimes when they don't agree to it?
Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
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Course Sections

Medical Ethics
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
07 4.0 Patrick Grafton-Cardwell TU TH 11:30AM 12:45PM