PHIL-524 Theories of Medical Ethics
Spring for 2017-2018
Theories of Medical Ethics combines lecture presentation and class
discussion. The objective of the course is to explore various cultural,
religious, social, and professional traditions that contain more or less
systematic positions on ethical issues in medicine. While some of these
traditions are richly developed and have medical ethical systems that may be justifiably called "theories of medical ethics," others have only rudimentary positions in the area. The course will explore the mainstream of Western medical ethics as articulated by physicians and physicians' professional groups as well as a wide range of other secular and religious traditions including:

Roman Catholicism
Liberal Western political philosophy (including contract theory and the Patients' Rights Movement)
Socialist and Post-Soviet perspectives
Chinese thought
Japanese medical ethics
Professional ethical traditions in health care (nursing, social work, pharmacy, dentistry, etc.)

The objective is to identify the elements of a systematic theory in
medical ethics. Each student in Phil 524 will be responsible for all of the reading in the course and will be expected to prepare two written
statements. The first will be a detailed comparison of the metaethical
theories of at least four major writers or traditions examined in class. This paper will be due no later than the Tuesday before spring break. The second written statement will be a final examination, which will be a take-home exam. The final exam may be written whenever and wherever the student chooses, but must be submitted on the day the final exam is scheduled or before.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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