When does meaningful life begin and end? Who matters morally? How should we die? Who decides? In this course we’ll examine basic moral questions about harm, rights, welfare, justice, autonomy, and human flourishing as they apply to topics in medicine and biotechnology.
The course begins with a unit on abortion and euthanasia and then moves to questions that have arisen from new medical technologies.
We’ll also cover some very recent issues, including the HPV vaccine and the effects of psychopharmacology on children. No prior experience with philosophy or biology is required. Course requirements include frequent short writing assignments, two 4-6 page papers, and class presentations. Attendance is required.
No prerequisites; one philosophy introduction is recommended.