Courses

 

Fall 2017

BIOE 601/401 - 401/402 – INTRODUCTION TO BIOETHICS
Instructor: Autumn Fiester 
Time: Tuesdays OR Thursdays, 4:30-7:00, August 29/August 31-December 5/7
Location: BRB 251, Biomedical Research Building II/III, 421 Curie Boulevard
This course is intended to serve as a broad introduction to the field of bioethics. The course will focus on the central areas in research and clinical ethics: genetics, reproduction, end-of-life, informed consent, the history of human subjects research, and surrogate decision-making. In this course, we will study case analysis, bioethics concepts, relevant legal cases, and classical readings in the field of bioethics.

BIOE 540 – CHALLENGING CLINICAL ETHICS: MANAGING PATIENT/CAREGIVER CONFLICT THROUGH MEDIATION
Instructor: Edward Bergman
Time: Thiursdays, 4:30-7:00, August 31 - December 7
Location: 1319 Blockley Hall, 13th Floor, 423 Guardian Drive
Since the 1960s, medical technology has rapidly expanded our capacity to intervene in peoples’ lives.  At the same time, profound changes in the health professions as well as in society at large have led to a renegotiation of the relationship between medicine and society.  The field of clinical ethics has worked to understand and to shape these radical changes.  Although the reality of human vulnerability to illness may not have changed over the millennia, who qualifies for personhood or what it means to respect human dignity have been up for debate.  In this advanced course in clinical ethics, we will explore key ethical debates across the entire life course.  We will emphasize an interdisciplinary approach that acknowledges a variety of health care providers' experiences, and will consider some of the challenges in clinical decision-making for and with patients, such as rationing at the bedside and requests for assistance in ending a patient's life.  We will also examine policies that impact clinical practice, including systems for organ allocation in transplantation.  We will draw upon theories from moral philosophy, clinical cases from our practices and from the media, and seminal legal cases to demonstrate the live ethical challenges of clinical practice today.

**NEW Fall 2017 CLASS**
BIOE 550 - CULTURE WARS: BIOETHICS IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY
Instructor: Matthew McCoy, PhD
Time: Mondays, 4:30-7:00, September 11 - December 11
Location: BRB 251, Biomedical Research Building II/III, 421 Curie Boulevard
Over 40 years after Roe v. Wade was decided, Americans remain deeply divided on the question of abortion. Similar divisions can be seen around issues such as embryonic stem cell research, cloning, and genetic modification. Given the cultural and moral pluralism of the United States, Americans are unlikely to ever agree on these issues. And yet, they must be addressed in policy and law. In this course, we will examine the ethical challenges of health and science policymaking in pluralistic democratic societies, considering a number of questions that cut across topic areas in bioethics. How can persons with different religious and moral convictions find common ground for debating bioethical issues? Is it ever acceptable to ban certain medical procedures or certain types of medical research on the basis of religious reasons? We will also ask who has the authority to resolve bioethical controversies. Are there bioethics experts and, if so, how should their input be weighed against public opinion in the policymaking process? Should courts seek to resolve ethically contentious issues or leave them to elected officials? We will address these questions by reading work from bioethicists, philosophers, and social scientists and through in-depth case study of recent and ongoing bioethics controversies.

BIOE 551 – HISTORY OF MEDICINE
Instructor: Lance Wahlert
Time: Wednesdays, 4:30-7:00, August 30-December 6
Location: BRB 251, Biomedical Research Buidling, 421 Curie Boulevard
While concerns over patient care, research ethics, and vocational duty have been hallmarks of the medical profession for over two millennia, bioethics (as a distinct and unified disciple) is a relatively new enterprise.   And yet the history of medicine informs the ways in which clinical practices are effectively conducted and ethically scrutinized even today.  Accordingly, this course introduces students to a comprehensive history of the Western Medical Tradition—from the Hippocratic-Galenic method (which dominated Europe and the Middle East from the Classical period to the eighteenth century); to the dawn of Paris Medicine (which reorganized clinical practice and professional training in the nineteenth century); to the global proliferation of biomedical research methods (which has demarcated medicine in the twentieth century).  Engaging in a trans-historical study of Western medicine that features textual, archival, and artistic forms of evidence, we will be focusing on a range of canonical topics: the systematization and triumph of Galen; the development of the fields of physick and surgery; the plague in the early modern period; the role of the asylum in the eighteenth century; the birth of specialties such as gynecology, phrenology, and eugenics; the creation of the teaching hospital; and the infusion of laboratory science into clinical research.  In addition, students will learn about the methodological principles central to the study of the histories of science, medicine, and technology in academia.

BIOE 575 - 401 – HEALTH POLICY
Cross-listed: BIOE 575 | HCMG 250 | HCMG 850
Instructors: Ezekiel Emanuel & J. Sanford Schwartz
Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30-6:00, August 29/31-December 5/7
Location: STIT B6, Stiteler Hall, 208 South 37th Street
The U.S. health care system is the world's largest, most technologically advanced, most expensive, with uneven quality, and an unsustainable cost structure. This multi-disciplinary course will explore the history and structure of the current American health care system and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. How did the United States get here? The course will examine the history of and problems with employment-based health insurance, the challenges surrounding access, cost and quality, and the medical malpractice conundrum.  As the Affordable Care Act is implemented over the next decade, the U.S. will witness tremendous changes that will shape the American health care system for the next 50 years or more. The course will examine potential reforms, including those offered by liberals and conservatives and information that can be extracted from health care systems in other developed countries. Throughout, lessons will integrate the disciplines of health economics, health and social policy, law and political science to elucidate key principles.  This course will provide students a broad overview of the current U.S. healthcare system. The course will focus on the challenges facing the health care system, an in-depth understanding of the Affordable Care Act, and its potential impact upon health care access, delivery, cost, and quality.

 

Spring 2018

BIOE 551 – NARRATIVE ETHICS: HEALTH, MEDICINE, AND LITERATURE
Instructor: Lance Wahlert
Time: Thursdays, January 11 - April 19
Location: TBD
What is it like to live with a chronic, debilitating, or fatal illness? What does it mean to treat a sick person as a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional? And how does it feel to be a caregiver, witness, or outside party in such circumstances? All of these questions will inform the central query of this course: How do personal narratives inform, explain, or complicate our understandings of the medical world? In recent decades, medical humanities scholars and bioethicists have striven to include the perspectives of multiple persons in the history and storytelling of medicine. Moreover, leading medical, nursing, and public health schools have incorporated narrative studies as a part of the training of their future doctors, nurses, and clinicians. While such strategies have been innovative at the level of revamping scholastic curriculums, they are hardly new in medical history. From the case study to the medical history to the talking cure, storytelling has been a central component in the diagnostic, therapeutic, and pastoral strategies of medical cosmologies for centuries. As a trans-historical study of medical storytelling, this course will be concerned with the power of narratives to bring coherence and meaning to the lives of sick persons, caregivers, and medical professionals at moments of great physical and emotional crisis. Accordingly, this course will consider a range of historical and contemporary topics that speak to the bioethical dilemmas of telling, reading, disseminating, and interpreting medically relevant narratives. While we will largely focus on non-fictional accounts (memoirs, medical records, journals, and testimonials), we will also consider how fictional literary sources (stories, poetry, films, and works of art) explore and affect matters related to the topic of “narrative and bioethics.”

BIOE 602 - 401/402 – FOUNDATIONS OF BIOETHICS
Instructor: Autumn Fiester
Time: Mondays OR Thursdays, 4:30-7:00, January 10/11-April 19/23
Location: TBD
This course is one of the 2 foundational courses in the MBE program, which together provide students an entre into the field of Bioethics. In Conceptual Foundations, students examine the various theoretical approaches to bioethics and critically assesses their underpinnings. Topics to be covered include an examination of various versions of utilitarianism; deonotological theories; virtue ethics; ethics of care; the fundamental principles of bioethics (autonomy, beneficence, distributive justice, non-maleficence); casuistry; and pragmatism. The course will include the application of the more theoretical ideas to particular topics, such as informed consent, confidentiality, and end of life issues.

BIOE 550 – BIOETHICS AND THE LAW
Instructor: Jon Merz
Time: Mondays, 4:30-7:00, January 10-April 23
Location: TBD
This course will present a broad survey of topics at the intersection of law and bioethics. Much of bioethics deals with topics of public policy, and law is the tool of policy. Areas to be covered will range from an overview of American law making to enforcement mechanisms, topics including FDA regulations, state interventions into beginning and end of life issues, privacy, malpractice, healthcare reform, and international issues, including those related to innovation and access to medicines.

BIOE 560 – PEDIATRIC ETHICS
Instructor: Steven Joffe and Jennifer Walter
Time: Tuesdays, 4:30-7:00, January 17-April 25
Location: TBD
In this course, we will explore the history, conceptual frameworks, and landmark debates of bioethics related to children. We will examine common ethical challenges (e.g., transplantation, critical illness, end of life) when the patient is a child. We will also examine issues unique to children, such as newborn screening, consent vs. assent, the rights and responsibilities of parents, and the role of the courts and the state. We will draw upon theories from moral philosophy, clinical cases, and seminal legal decisions to demonstrate the breadth and complexity of pediatric ethics.

BIOE 565 – RATIONING AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION
Instructors: Ezekiel Emanuel & Harald Schmidt
Time: Wednesdays 4:00-6:30, January17 - April 25
Location: TBD
You have one liver but three patients awaiting a liver transplant.  Who should get the liver?  What criteria should be used to select the recipient? Is it fair to give it to an alcoholic?  These are some of the questions that arise in the context of rationing and allocating scarce health care resources among particular individuals, and concern what are called micro-allocation decisions.  But trade-offs also need to be made at the meso- and macro-level.  Budgets of public payers of healthcare, such as governments, and of private ones, such as health plans, are limited: they cannot cover all drugs and services that appear beneficial to patients or physicians.  So what services should they provide? Is there a core set of benefits that everyone should be entitled to? If so, by what process should we determine these? How can we make fair decisions, if we know from the outset than not all needs can be met? Using the cases of organs for transplantation, the rationing for vaccines in a flu pandemic, and drug shortages, the course will critically examine alternative theories for allocating scarce resources among individuals.  Using both the need to establish priorities for global health aid and to define an essential benefit package for health insurance, the course will critically examine diverse theories for allocation decisions, including cost-effectiveness analysis, age-based rationing and accountability for reasonableness.  

BIOE 545 /547 – MEDIATION INTENSIVE I/III  
Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, and Lance Wahlert
Time: Jan 12-15, 2018
Location: Blockley Hall, 14th FL, 423 Guardian Drive
This is an immersion experience of learning through role-playing mediation simulations. It has the same format of the other Mediation Intensives, but will NOT duplicate simulations. Students will:

  • Learn to effectively manage clinical disputes among and between caregivers, patients and surrogates through mediation
  • Discover how to define problems and assess underlying interests to generate mutually acceptable options
  • Role-play in a variety of clinical situations as both disputants and mediators
  • Practice mediation with professional actors
  • Receive constructive feedback in supportive environment

Click for a downloadable flyer.

BIOE 546/548 – MEDIATION INTENSIVE II/IV 
Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, and Lance Wahlert
Time: May 17-20, 2018
Location: Blockley Hall, 14th FL, 423 Guardian Drive
This is an immersion experience of learning through role-playing mediation simulations. It has the same format of the other Mediation Intensives, but will NOT duplicate simulations. Students will:

  • Learn to effectively manage clinical disputes among and between caregivers, patients and surrogates through mediation
  • Discover how to define problems and assess underlying interests to generate mutually acceptable options
  • Role-play in a variety of clinical situations as both disputants and mediators
  • Practice mediation with professional actors
  • Receive constructive feedback in supportive environment

Click for a downloadable flyer.

Summer 2018

BIOE 555 – MIND MATTERS: EMERGING ETHICAL ISSUES IN NEUROSCIENCE
Instructor: Jonathan Moreno
Time: Tuesdays, TBD
Location: TBD
In this course, we will critically evaluate the use of neuroimaging to assess a person’s mental status, temperament, and other behaviourally significant features, and we will explore the use of this kind of information in criminal cases. We will also look at new work attempting to discern whether and what kind of conscious awareness may exist in patients with PVS.  We will explore the implications of using mood enhancing drugs, memory dampening techniques, brain stimulation, and neural prostheses and their potential affects on identity and even human nature. We will look at arguments for and against brain sex and neuro-diversity, with an eye towards classifications that “loop” back to shape those so classified.

BIO 566 - PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HEALTH IN POLICY AND PRACTICE
Instructor: Harald Schmidt
Time: Wednesday 4:30-7:00, May 23 - August 1
Location: TBD
Excess body weight is often associated with higher healthcare cost. Should overweight and obese people pay more for health insurance? If we want to encourage people to quit smoking, is it best to give insurance discounts to those who succeed, or impose surcharges on those who do not? Should companies be permitted not to hire smokers? Globally, more than seven in ten deaths are due to chronic diseases, such as stroke, cancer, diabetes or heart disease. In the US, rates are even higher. Good or poor health is typically the result of a number of interacting factors. Genetics, social status, environmental conditions and personal behavior all play a role. In the best case, appeals to personal responsibility can motivate people to achieve oftentimes challenging behavior change. But in the worst case, policies penalize people for factor that are beyond their control. We will critically assess how personal responsibility is conceptualized in law and policy in different countries, and evaluate philosophical, political, economic and health-science related rationales in favor and against personal responsibility for health. Some of the material will be conceptual in nature, but throughout, the discussion will be focused on concrete cases, including obesity, smoking, breast screening, organ donation and medication adherence.

BIOE 580 – RESEARCH ETHICS
Instructor: Jon Merz
Time: TBD
Location: TBD
This seminar is intended to give students a broad overview of research ethics and regulation. The students will come out of the class with an understanding of the historical evolution, moral bases and practical application of biomedical research ethics. The course includes reading assignments, lectures, discussions and practical review of research protocols and in-class interviews with researchers and study subjects. Course topics include: history of human subjects protections, regulatory and ethical frameworks for biomedical research, informed consent theory and application, selection of fair research subjects and payment, confidentiality, secondary uses of data and stored tissue, ethics of international research, pediatric and genetic research and conflicts of interest in biomedical research.

BIOE 546/548 – MEDIATION INTENSIVE II/IV 
Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, and Lance Wahlert
Time: TBD
Location: Blockley Hall, 14th FL, 423 Guardian Drive
This is an immersion experience of learning through role-playing mediation simulations. It has the same format of the other Mediation Intensives, but will NOT duplicate simulations. Students will:

  • Learn to effectively manage clinical disputes among and between caregivers, patients and surrogates through mediation
  • Discover how to define problems and assess underlying interests to generate mutually acceptable options
  • Role-play in a variety of clinical situations as both disputants and mediators
  • Practice mediation with professional actors
  • Receive constructive feedback in supportive environment 

BIOE 545 /547 – MEDIATION INTENSIVE I/III 
Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, and Lance Wahlert
Time: TBD
Location: Blockley Hall, 14th FL, 423 Guardian Drive
This is an immersion experience of learning through role-playing mediation simulations. It has the same format of the other Mediation Intensives, but will NOT duplicate simulations. Students will:

  • Learn to effectively manage clinical disputes among and between caregivers, patients and surrogates through mediation
  • Discover how to define problems and assess underlying interests to generate mutually acceptable options
  • Role-play in a variety of clinical situations as both disputants and mediators
  • Practice mediation with professional actors
  • Receive constructive feedback in supportive environment

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