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2019-2020 Course Catalog

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This catalog was created on Friday, November 22, 2019.


Biomedical Ethics

Professor:E. De Stasio (The Raymond H. Herzog Professor of Science Biology)
Associate professors:M. Ansfield (Psychology), B. Jenike (Edward F. Mielke Professor of Ethics in Medicine, Science and Society Anthropology, chair), M. Jenike (Anthropology)
Assistant professors:I. Albrecht (Philosophy), H. Caruthers (Economics), D. Fitz (Economics) (on leave term(s) II), J. Smith (Ethnic Studies)

Drawing from the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, the interdisciplinary biomedical ethics minor examines the broader biosocial and environmental contexts in which the health sciences are practiced. Social contexts include structural health disparities, local considerations like cultural values and beliefs, and particular public policies, infrastructure, and institutions, as well as universal considerations such as respect for persons. Overall, students will learn to question norms of health and biomedical assumptions and to seek new understandings of how social, biosocial, technological, and environmental factors contribute to good or poor health outcomes in both local and global contexts.

Biomedical ethics minors will learn to examine the principles of autonomy and informed consent and be able to recognize complicating factors in the practice of medicine. They will learn, through multiple disciplinary analytical frameworks, how social, biosocial and environmental factors contribute to the complexities of population health. Finally, they will be able to critically consider the application of biomedicine and biomedical technologies in both local and global contexts.

This minor has been designed to appeal to Lawrence students planning further work in medicine, nursing, genetic counseling, public health, global health, social work and other areas of study in or related to health and health care as well as students wishing to undertake graduate work in applied ethics.

Required for the minor in biomedical ethics

  1. BIET 120/PHIL 120: Applied Ethics: Introduction to Biomedical Ethics
  2. One of the following:
    1. BIOL 100: The Biology of Human Reproduction,
    2. BIOL 103: Biotechnology and Society,
    3. BIOL 130: Integrative Biology: Cells to Organisms, or
    4. ANTH 140: Biological Anthropology
  3. One of the following:
    1. ECON 200: Economic Development,
    2. ECON 204: Effective Altruism,
    3. ECON 271: Public Economics, or
    4. GOVT 380: Introduction to Public Policy (biomedical ethics minors can take a concurrent tutorial in Health Policy while attending GOVT 380)
  4. One of the following:
    1. ANTH 342: Medical Anthropology or
    2. PSYC 245: Health Psychology
  5. One of the following:
    1. BIET 370/PHIL 370: Advanced Studies in Bioethics,
    2. ANTH 542: Anthropology and Public Health,
    3. ANTH 551: Anthropology of Biomedicine,
    4. ANTH 552: Disability and Culture, or
    5. an approved independent study project on some aspect of biomedical ethics, public health or health policy. Possible contexts for projects include an academic internship, a tutorial, an independent study course, or a health-related project in conjunction with an off-campus program. Independent study projects must be approved by the advisory committee.
  6. Two additional 6-unit courses from the list below or other relevant courses with approval of the program director.
  • ANTH 314: Global Health
  • ANTH 340: Human Biology, Evolution, and Health
  • ANTH 342: Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 377: Culture and Aging
  • ANTH 542: Anthropology and Public Health
  • ANTH 551: Anthropology of Biomedicine
  • ANTH 552: Disability and Culture
  • BIOL 100: The Biology of Human Reproduction
  • BIOL 103: Biotechnology and Society
  • BIOL 260: Genetics
  • BIOL 354: Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 465: Advanced Biotechnology
  • BIOL 453: Developmental Biology
  • ECON 200: Economic Development
  • ECON 203: Latin American Economic Development
  • ECON 204: Effective Altruism
  • ECON 271: Public Economics
  • ECON 290: The Economics of Medical Care
  • ETST 110: Introduction to Ethnic Studies
  • ETST 301: Theories of Race and Ethnicity
  • GEOL 213: Geology and Health
  • GOVT 380: Introduction to Public Policy
  • GOVT 465: Environmental Politics
  • PHIL 320: Ethics
  • PHIL 350: Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 360: Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 370: Advanced Studies in Bioethics
  • PHIL 380: Ethics of Technology
  • PHIL 430: Philosophy of Law
  • PSYC 245: Health Psychology
  • PSYC 250: Psychopathology
  • PSYC 350: Psychopharmacology and Behavior

Courses - Biomedical Ethics

BIET 120: Applied Ethics: Introduction to Biomedical Ethics

The course will examine moral dilemmas created or intensified by recent advances in medical technology and study ways of analyzing those dilemmas to make them more tractable. We will focus on examples such as euthanasia and the right to die, abortion, behavior modification, allocation of scarce medical resources, in vitro fertilization, genetic screening and engineering, and human experimentation.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Philosophy 120
Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores

BIET 191: Directed Study in Biomedical Ethics

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 245: Health Psychology

This course explores the link between mind and body from various psychological perspectives such as social, clinical, and psychobiological. We will survey the role of stress, emotion, self-regulation, and individual differences as predictors of health and illness. We also will examine assessment, diagnostic, treatment, and ethical issues in psychophysiological disorders.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Psychology 245
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

BIET 290: The Economics of Medical Care

An analysis of how the economic organization of medical care affects the health and well-being of the population. Topics include who is treated, how much the treatment costs, and who pays the bill. Particular emphasis given to the roles of insurance and various national health policies and reform proposals.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 290
Prerequisite: ECON 100

BIET 291: Health Policy: U.S. & U.K.

This course compares U.K. and U.S. health systems, markets, and public health policies. In particular, the course will analyze trade-offs made in each country among access to care, the cost of care and the quality of care as well as how resources are generated and allocated for each system.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Economics 291
Prerequisite: Only open to students attending the London Centre.

BIET 370: Advanced Studies in Bioethics

A seminar examining one particular issue or set of issues in bioethics.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Philosophy 370
Prerequisite: PHIL 120 or two courses in philosophy

BIET 380: Ethics of Technology

This course focuses on ethical issues that arise from the development of new technology. Specific topics may include artificial intelligence, information technologies, human enhancement, transhumanism, transgenesis, ectogenesis, nanoethics, and neuroethics.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Philosophy 380
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of the instructor

BIET 390: Tutorial Studies in Biomedical ethics

Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 391: Directed Study in Biomedical Ethics

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 399: Independent Study in Biomedical ethics

Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 590: Tutorial Studies in Biomedical ethics

Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 591: Directed Study in Biomedical Ethics

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 599: Independent Study in Biomedical ethics

Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 690: Tutorial Studies in Biomedical ethics

Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 691: Directed Study in Biomedical Ethics

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

BIET 699: Independent Study in Biomedical ethics

Units: 1 TO 98.
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.