I define bioethics and law as study of the ethical and legal ramifications of scientific and medical advances that fragment and rearrange certain natural processes, conditions or relationships and social arrangements resting on them. This fragmenting and reassembly is often found in distinct areas addressed in separate parts of the course text, Bioethics and Law (M. Shapiro, R. Spece, et al. eds. 2003): Biomedical research and experimentation; control of mind and behavior; reproductive choice; control of genetics; death and dying; transplantation and implantation of artificial organs and tissues; and enhancement of human attributes. This course enables students to sharpen their ability to analyze the moral, policy and legal (especially constitutional law and tort) aspects of important, complex and dynamic controversies.
An example of the intersection between tort and bioethics is a lawsuit that was brought by the survivors of a young man from Tucson who died as a result of experimental genetic therapy administered to him at the University of Pennsylvania. An example of the intersection between constitutional law and bioethics is the considerable body of law addressing whether persons have a First Amendment right against certain technological interventions such as psychotrophic drugs.
Bioethics and Law (M. Shapiro, R. Spece, et al. eds. 2003)
Lecture and discussion.
|Type of Exam||
In-class examination or paper at student's option.
|Basis for grading||
One's grade can be raised for quality class participation.
If paper is chosen, the student is allowed three absences only. A borderline grade can be raised for quality class participation.