Ethics at the edges of Life

In the past century, medicine has dramatically changed the way we begin and end life, raising difficult ethical questions. Given our ability to intervene at life’s edges, what are our responsibilities in creating, extending, and ending human life? Through philosophical readings, discussion, and writing, students will explore questions in bioethics: when does the life of a human start and what do we owe to humans in the earliest stages of development? Is embryo selection or engineering discrimination? May we choose to end our life to prevent suffering? Who gets expensive life-saving technology and who is left to die? While engaging with conversations in ethics, students extract & critique arguments from readings, discuss them critically, & develop their own argumentative writing. Each student writes several papers during the course, including an 8-10 page argumentative research paper. Writing these papers will be supported by in-class exercises, informal writing assignments, peer review, & self-assessment.