Welcome to the first section of the course. I’m calling this ‘Classical Biomedical Ethics’, because the field of bioethics first developed largely as a result of the need for ethical inquiry into the relationship between a physician and her patient, and between a researcher and her subject. Although we will, in this class, focus more on the former (the physician-patient relationship), many of the core, early developments in bioethics (such as those regarding Informed Consent) apply in both contexts.
But maybe we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. I’ve defined Classical Biomedical Ethics in terms of Bioethics, but what is bioethics? To hear more about the nature and history of bioethics, check out this short lecture by Prof. Maggie Little, Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, and partner in this course:
Hopefully that got you excited. Let’s get started!