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21A.216J / SP.622J Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics: Playing God or Doing Good?, Spring 2005

Human blastocyst showing inner cell mass and trophectoderm.

Human blastocyst showing inner cell mass and trophectoderm used in human embryonic stem cell research. (Photo Credit: Mr. J. Conaghan. Image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health.)

Highlights of this Course

This course features extensive lecture notes.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the cross-cultural study of bio-medical ethics. It examines moral foundations of the science and practice of western bio-medicine through case studies of abortion, contraception, cloning, organ transplantation, and other issues. It also evaluates challenges that new medical technologies pose to the practice and availability of medical services around the globe, and to cross-cultural ideas of kinship and personhood. It discusses critiques of the bio-medical tradition from anthropological, feminist, legal, religious, and cross-cultural theorists.


Prof. Erica James

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session




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