Introduction to Bioethics: Multimedia Course Packet

Welcome to Phil105: Introduction to Bioethics.  As you hopefully saw on the syllabus, this is something of an experimental class, which is partnered with Georgetown’s Bioethics MOOC in a variety of ways.  I think of this class as being ‘next-gen’, as it involves a kind of blending of traditional college learning experiences with technology-enhanced learning.  In line with this general attitude, our class does not have a traditional textbook; instead, it has this WordPress site, which I call our ‘Multimedia Course Packet’ (MCP).  Please take some time to click through and explore a bit.  I will update pages regularly, so you should not take what is currently online to be the complete course pack.  This is a living textbook, and will grow, change, and evolve as a result.  The syllabus may also change, but you can always find the most up-to-date version here.

To use the MCP, click from the outline below to move through the sections and subsections.  Alternatively, you can simply use the navigation bar to the right to go directly to the current unit; however, you likely want to click through each section at least on the first day, as there is introductory material on each of the section’s landing pages.  Once you arrive at the current topic, you will find the page organized by date.  The date indicates which class day I expect you to have engaged with the material.  So, for example, on Tuesday, September 2, by the time you get to class, I expect you to have: read the brief summary written by me; watched the introductory video by Maggie Little; watched the videos by Tom Beauchamp related to Informed Consent; and have done the assigned readings.  I have organized the assignments in what I take to be a logical order, from top to bottom; but of course, you can jump into various pieces if you wish.  The only requirement is that you have completed all tasks by the date assigned.  Most of the material is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and so can be shared or accessed from anywhere.  However, due to copyright limitations on educational texts, any reading that is not open-source must be password protected.  You can find the login information on the syllabus, and it will be discussed in class.

I hope you enjoy being part of the experiment!


The Topics:


I. Classical Biomedical Ethics: The Physician-Patient Encounter

September 2 – September 25

II. The Human Body and the Concept of the Natural

September 30 – October 16

III: Procreative Ethics

October 21 – November 6

IV: Population and Public Health Ethics

November 11 – November 20