PHIL 265 Biomedical Ethics • 5 Cr.


Introduces ethical problems relating to medical practice and biological research. Students discuss ethical issues in euthanasia, abortion, animal experimentation, genetic engineering, and doctor-patient relationships. Designed for students entering medical and research fields, but applicable to moral problems in any field.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Formulate, clarify, and evaluate arguments.
  • Analyze and assess views that make ethics a matter of convention, including Moral Relativism and Divine Command Theory.
  • Explain and evaluate substantive ethical theories, including Utilitarianism, respect for persons, and the ethics of care.
  • Explain how substantive ethical theories including Utilitarianism, respect for persons, and the ethics of care incorporate the value of cultural diversity.
  • Analyze and assess biomedical ethical issues like euthanasia, genetic engineering, and abortion in terms of substantive ethical theories.
  • Explain the ethical foundations of medical guidelines concerning voluntary informed assent and the use of subjects in experimental procedures.
  • Address ethical issues concerning disabilities.