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Courses for Spring 2014

Medical History and Bioethics 133:
Biology & Society, 1950-Today

Instructor: Nicole C. Nelson

From medical advancements to environmental crises and global food shortages, biology and the life sciences are implicated in some of the most pressing social issues of our time. This course explores events in the history of biology from the mid twentieth century to today, and examines how developments in this scientific field have shaped and are shaped by society. The course is divided into three thematic units. In the first unit, we investigate the origins of the institutions, technologies, and styles of practice that characterize contemporary biology; such as the use of mice as “model organisms” for understanding human diseases. In the second unit, we delve into areas of biology that have raised controversies about regulation, governance, and public participation; such as the introduction of genetically modified plants into the food supply. The final unit asks how biological facts and theories have been and continue to be used as a source for understanding ourselves. Within the units, each week begins with an examination of an historical event or controversy that provides an entry into a discussion about how biology and society interact. The creation of a cloned sheep named Dolly and the ensuing media coverage and controversy, for example, demonstrates how new reproductive technologies are challenging fundamental categories that we use to describe the life course such as “parent” and “offspring.” This course will help students in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities to develop the analytic and writing skills needed to confront complex social issues involving the life sciences. No prior knowledge of biology, history, or social theory is required.

Crosslisted with History of Science

3 cr.; Z (either Humanities or Social Science), E (Elementary)

M/W 11:00 AM

Prerequisites: None, Open to Freshmen.


Medical History and Bioethics 212:
Bodies, Diseases, and Healers: An Introduction to the History of Medicine

Instructor: Thomas Broman

A survey of different conceptions of how the body as a site of sickness has been understood from Antiquity to contemporary medicine. Includes consideration of the origins and evolution of public health, the changing social role of healers, and the emergence of the modern “standardized” body in health and illness.

Crosslisted with History of Science

3 Credits and Elementary (E) level

M/W 2:25PM - 3:15PM


Medical History and Bioethics 213:
Global Environmental Health: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

Instructor: Richard C. Keller

The course provides an introduction to the intersections of health and environment on a global scale. Exposes students to a range of problems in global environmental health, including climate change, disease ecology, and the globalization of disease.

Not cross-listed

3 cr.; H (Humanities or Social Science), E (Elementary)

Tu/Th 1:00PM - 2:15PM


Medical History and Bioethics 505:
Justice and Health Care

Instructor: J. Paul Kelleher

This course will examine ethical issues in the distribution, financing, and delivery of health care (primarily in reference to the United States, but with potential reference to other advanced nations). The class is broken into three units. The first unit explores key issues in U.S. health policy and forms the empirical foundation for the ethical analyses that follow. The second unit explores ongoing debates in moral and political philosophy over putative rights to health and health care. The last unit investigates the nature, justifiability, and methods of health care rationing, which many believe to be an unavoidable requirement of the near-universally shared goal of health care cost containment.

Crosslisted with Philosophy

3 cr.; H (Humanities) A (Advanced)

T/TH 2:30PM - 3:45PM

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. University specials and guests by permission only.


Medical History and Bioethics 508:
Health, Disease & Healing II

Instructor: Bradley M. Moore

Medicine in Europe from the 18th century to mid-20th century, investigating changes in disease and demography, state interest in health care, the medical professions, and both scientific and alternative medical ideas.

Crosslisted with History and History of Science

3 cr.; H (Humanities) I (Intermediate)

M/W 1:00PM - 2:15PM

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or Instructor consent.


Medical History and Bioethics 509:
The Development of Public Health in America

Instructors: Dayle DeLancey and Karen L. Walloch

This course surveys the history of public health in the United States from the colonial period to the late twentieth century, emphasizing many issues in the development of public responsibility for health that are relevant at the beginning of the 21st century, including responses to epidemic diseases. The course is run as a seminar/discussion, and part of the student requirements include regular and constructive class participation.

Crosslisted with History of Science

3 cr.; B (Biological Science), I (Intermediate);

M/W 2:30PM - 3:45PM

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or Instructor consent. Includes graduate and professional careers.


Medical History and Bioethics 515:
Public Health Ethics

Instructor: J. Paul Kelleher

This course focuses on ethical issues implicated in a population-level approach to disease prevention and health promotion. Students will explore prominent theoretical approaches to public health ethics and will engage with several ethical tensions. Issues discussed include: the use of coercive or intrusive public health interventions that restrict individual freedom, infringe upon individual privacy, and/or invite individual harm (or risks of harm); the justification of paternalistic measures in societies or sub-populations that seemingly indulge in pleasurable yet unhealthy behaviors; the extent to which societies should hold individuals responsible for their health conditions; the need to choose between the identifiable victims we can save with expensive measures here and now and the more numerous unidentifiable victims we could save in the future with the same monetary investment; the trade-offs between maximizing aggregate health benefits and addressing the special needs of vulnerable social sub-groups and individuals; climate change and intergenerational justice; ethical issues in international pharmaceutical research; and the health-equity implications of prominent social determinants of health.

Crosslisted with Philosophy (Phil 515)

3 cr.; H (Humanities), A (Advanced)

Tu/Th 9:30AM - 10:45AM

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. University specials and guests by permission only.


Medical History and Bioethics 523:
Race, American Medicine and Public Health

Instructor: Susan E. Lederer

The problem of the 20th century, wrote W.E.B. DuBois in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), "is the problem of the color-line." This course considers the issue of the color line in American medicine over the past two centuries. We will be looking at the ways in which skin color (and other elements of "racial identity") have influenced the experiences of patients, physicians and nurses, and medical researchers, seeking to document and analyze how conceptions of race have shaped the health concerns and health outcomes of Americans in the past two hundred years. Topics include the origins of racial classification, the health and medical care of slaves, the use of minorities as research subjects, especially the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the history of racial disparities in medicine, and the efforts to integrate the American medical profession.

Crosslisted with History of Science and with Afro-American Studies

3 cr.; S (Social Science), D (Intermediate or Advanced)

M/W 11:00AM - 12:15PM

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. Excludes university specials and guests.


Medical History and Bioethics 531:
Women and Health in American History

Instructor: Judith A. Houck

Women’s relationship to medical institutions, constructions of disease, and their own bodies differs from that of men. This course examines historically the health issues women have faced and how those issues have differed according to race and class. In particular, it explores the personal experiences and the medical views of women’s life-cycle events, the role of women as health care providers and activists, and the effect of gender on the perception and meaning of illness.

Crosslisted with Gender/Women’s Studies and History of Science

3 credits. Biological Science. Counts toward the Natural Science required. Counts for Liberal Arts and Science credit in L&S. Intermediate.

T/TH 1:00PM - 2:15PM

Prerequisites: Junior status or higher (including graduate and professional careers). Excludes university Special and Guest students.


Medical History and Bioethics 558:
Ethical Issues in Health Care

Instructor: Norman C. Fost

Ethical issues apparently created by new biomedical technologies, such as genetic screening, prenatal diagnosis, prolongation of life, treatment of severe birth defects, in vitro fertilization, behavior modification, psychosurgery, and transplantation.

Crosslisted with Philosophy

3 cr.; H (Humanities), I (Intermediate)

Tu 11:00AM - 12:15PM

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. Excludes university specials and guests.


Medical History and Bioethics 562:
Byzantine Medicine and Pharmacy

Instructor: John Scarborough

Byzantine and Islamic medicine and drug lore from Oribasius to the beginnings of the Italian Renaissance (c. 350 - c. 1400 A.D.).

Crosslisted with S&A Pharmacy, History, History of Science, and Medieval

3 cr.; H (Humanities), D (Intermediate or Advanced)

Tu/Th 2:30PM - 3:45PM

Prerequisites: Junior standing or DPH or TOX.


Medical History and Bioethics 565:
The Ethics of Modern Biotechnology

Instructor: Robert K. Streiffer

Study of ethical issues arising from the application of modern biotechnology to microorganisms, crops, and non-human animals. Readings cover moral theory, technology studies, political philosophy, the science used in biotechnology, and current regulations governing its use.

Crosslisted with Agronomy, Philosophy, and Community and Environmental Sociology

3 credits; Humanities. Counts for Liberal Arts and Science credit in L&S. Intermediate.

Tu/Th 2:30PM - 3:45PM

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. Excludes university specials and guests.


Medical History and Bioethics 610:
Regenerative Medicine, Ethics and Society

Instructor: Linda F. Hogle

This course is designed to introduce graduate science, engineering, and medical students working in regenerative medicine research to the key ethical, policy and social issues relevant to the field. Primary scientific and policy documents will be used as resources as well as analyses of current social and political environments.

Topics include (among others): The background of legal disputes over embryonic stem cell research; Understanding the relations among governments, the public & the media in the face of controversial research; Guidelines and oversight rules: what stem cell researchers need to know; Clinical trials & First-in-human research; Translational issues: data sharing & intellectual property.

NOTE: THIS COURSE IS TAUGHT AS A CONCENTRATED, SHORT COURSE (8 sessions). Counts for ethics credit for a number of graduate science programs (check first with your advisor).

Not cross-listed

1 - 3 units (contact instructor for details)

F 8:00AM - 10:00AM

Prerequisites: Graduate or Professional and consent of instructor.


Medical History and Bioethics 699:
Independent Study in Medical History

Instructor: Staff

Not cross-listed

1-3 cr.

Time to be arranged

Prerequisites: Jr st & cons inst.


Medical History and Bioethics 709:
Development of Public Health in America

Instructors: Dayle B. DeLancey and Karen L. Walloch

Advanced readings in primary and secondary literature concerning public health issues and problems in America from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, and efforts made toward their solutions.

Not cross-listed

1 cr.

Time to be arranged

Prerequisites: Grad st & con reg in Med Hist 509.


Medical History and Bioethics 720:
History of Medicine

Instructor: Susan E. Lederer

History is more than names and dates. Historical perspective helps us to understand why we do the things we do or why we think the things we think. A historical perspective on medicine helps to explain how and why medicine, healing, disease, and even doctors have changed over time. This course will focus on the development of medical ideas from Hippocrates to the Human Genome Project. In so doing, students will consider the historical evolution of anatomy as an important component of medicine (and how different societies have viewed dissection), the historical evolution of concepts of disease and disease localization, the historical evolution of remedies - animal, vegetable, mineral - , the historical evolution of the doctor-patient relationship, and the development of medical specialization, technologies, and public health. The course will also be tailored in light of the residency choices of medical students to focus on developments in particular specialties (ie ob-gyn, pediatrics, surgery, psychiatry, family medicine, etc).

Not cross-listed

1 cr.

W 5:00PM - 7:00PM

Prerequisites: Limited to medical students.


Medical History and Bioethics 730:
Ethical Issues in Population Health

Instructors: Norman C. Fost and J. Paul Kelleher

This course explores central ethical issues and tensions in public health and health policy. There will be eight interactive discussion sessions of 1.5 hours each over a 4-week period. We will begin with a session that explores the merits and hazards of thinking critically about difficult ethical issues. From there we have seven sessions on more specific ethical issues in population health. Potential topics include: the economic and moral considerations for and against government involvement in health care markets; the vexing question of whether citizens in advanced nations have strong duties to promote the health and well-being of the foreign poor; whether U.S. hospitals have duties to provide “uncompensated care” (read: free care) to undocumented immigrants, and whether these hospitals may ethically seek the deportation of undocumented individuals; alternative approaches to rationing health care; the perennial ethical tension between treating those in dire peril now and preventing the deaths of statistical victims in the future; personal responsibility for risky health behaviors and the government’s role in influencing health behaviors; and, finally, cutting-edge issues of exploitation in public health research trials.

Not cross-listed

1 cr.; Graduate, advanced

T/Th 5:30PM - 7:00PM (Jan-Feb)

Prerequisites: Limited to 4th year medical students.


Medical History and Bioethics 919:
Graduate Studies in Medical History
Topic: 'Health, Healing and Science in Africa and the African Diaspora

Instructors: Pablo Gomez (MHB) and Neil Kodesh (History)

This cross-disciplinary graduate student seminar examines historical and anthropological approaches to the study of health, healing and science in Africa and the African Diaspora.

The study of health and science in Africa and the diaspora is more capacious than ever before. This course will focus on new approaches to examining the multiple histories of medicine and illness in Africa. It will place into dialogue the historical literature on health and disease in Africa and the African diaspora. We will pay particular attention to historical and anthropological approaches that challenge the relevance of the deeply embedded polarities - traditional versus modern, African healing versus biomedicine - that have long inspired studies of medicine and illness in Africa. The course will emphasize the interdisciplinarity that has placed the study of health and healing in African studies at the forefront of complicating ideas about medicine, illness and therapy. Sponsored by a Mellon foundation grant, four leading national and international scholars in the field will visit the class to discuss their work. (Course Flyer)

Crosslisted with History of Science

3 credits. A (Advanced)

W 1:20PM - 3:20PM

Prerequisites: Graduate or Professional and consent of instructor.


Medical History and Bioethics 999:
Advanced Independent Study

Instructor: Staff

Not cross-listed

1-3 cr.; A (Advanced)

Time to be arranged

Prerequisites: Grad stdts who have the Masters or equiv, or Postdoc fellows who wish to undertake an independent research project.

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