FYS*101*28 Description

First-Year Seminar

What lives are worth living? What counts as a healthy human body? When and how are medical interventions justified? Who has the power to decide? This course will explore cutting-edge questions around the ethics of care in contemporary medicine. Through class discussions and a series of writing assignments, you will develop the ability to engage critically with contemporary bioethical debates about medical care and intervention. After an introduction to core concepts, we will examine central challenges in bioethics from a variety of perspectives, including healthcare providers, patients and their families, and society more generally. The course will focus on four key debates: organ transplantation, assisted reproduction ("savior siblings", prenatal genetic engineering and testing for disease), surgical intervention for intersex infants, and the separation of conjoined twins. Through our examination of these diverse debates, we will discuss the cultural, medical and social factors that determine whether (and which) bodies come to matter-and how lives are deemed deserving of protection and care.