• Length:
    16 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–5 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
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  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Introductory
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

None. This is an introductory course.

About this course

Skip About this course

Should we clone humans? What should we think of the coming genetic revolution? How much control should we have over how and when we die? When does medical treatment turn into medical enhancement — and should we care? Is rationing health care good, bad, necessary — or all of the above?

This course will explore fundamental moral issues that arise in medicine, health, and biotechnology. Some are as old as life itself: the vulnerability of illness, the fact of death. Some are new, brought on by a dizzying pace of technology that can unsettle our core ideas about human nature and our place in the world. And nearly all intersect with issues of racial and gender equality, as well as policies affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Designed to introduce students to the range of issues that define bioethics, together with core concepts and skills, this course should be of interest to undergraduates, health care professionals, policy makers, and anyone interested in philosophy or ethics.

Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.

Note: Please be aware that the content in this Bioethics course has not been updated since Summer 2017. New developments in the field of bioethics and in law have occurred but are not reflected in the course.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Recognize core philosophy concepts in bioethics debates, including well-being, justice, and autonomy
  • Develop scientific literacy relevant to core bioethics topics such as abortion, genetic enhancement, and euthanasia
  • Understand key bioethics terms such as informed consent and medical futility
  • Practice engaging in reflective, respectful conversations with others on polarizing issues

Meet your instructors

Tom Beauchamp
Professor of Philosophy
Georgetown University
Robert M. Veatch
Emeritus Professor
Kennedy Institute of Ethics
Margaret Little
Director
Kennedy Institute of Ethics
Rebecca Kukla
Professor of Philosophy
Georgetown University

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