Early operating theater

Courses for Spring 2015

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 213:
Global Environmental Health: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

Instructor: Staff

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

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

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

Instructor: Dayle DeLancey

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 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; ethical issues in international pharmaceutical research; ethical issues involving vaccination, screening, and surveillance; and the ethics of private gun ownership.

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 532:
The History of the (American) Body

Instructor: Judith A. Houck

Perhaps it all started with the nature-nurture debate. By dividing the living world into biology (flesh, blood, genes, hormones, germs) and culture (environment, politics, tradition, commerce, history), we have come to regard bodies as objects immune to historical forces. This course challenges this understanding of bodies. By focusing primarily on American bodies in the 19th and 20th centuries, this course demonstrates that human bodies have social and cultural histories. The lived experience and cultural meanings of human bodies are dependent on their social settings. Biology is surely not irrelevant to bodily experience. But the interpretation and valuation of biology, indeed what is considered biological, change over time. This course will highlight the social values placed on different bodies and the changing social expectations bodies create. This course will pay particular attention to the following questions: How have cultural and social changes in American history influenced the meaning and experience of bodies? How have attempts to establish social status and difference focused on bodies? How has the social and economic value of bodies differed according to race, class, sex, and “fitness?” How has a focus on bodies individualized social problems?

Cross-listed History of Science and with Gender and Women’s Studies

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

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

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

Medical History and Bioethics 558:
Ethical Issues in Health Care

Instructors: Norman C. Fost and Robert K Streiffer

Ethical issues 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.

Cross-listed 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 564:
Disease, Medicine and Public Health in the History of Latin America and the Caribbean

Instructor: Pablo Gomez

This course examines the history of illness, medical practice and public health in Latin America and the Caribbean from the colonial era to the present. Using films, literature, artwork, archaeological studies, historical texts, and medical sources, students will explore the different meanings of disease, body normativity, medical practice, and public health across different historical circumstances in the region. Among other topics, the course will examine the biological exchange that determined the fate of Native Americans and Europeans in the New World; the role religious and socio-cultural attitudes and beliefs about bodies and illness played in shaping early modern Latin American societies; concepts of race and disease for state and nation-building projects in Latin America; US and European programs of medical research and humanitarianism in Latin American and Caribbean nations during the first half of the twentieth century; medical experimentation in Central America; the impact of the AIDS epidemic in the region; international humanitarianism and the rise of state-sponsored systems of health care in Latin American countries.

Cross-listed with History of Science and History

3 cr.; Z (either Humanities or Social Science), A (Advanced)

Tu/Th 11:00AM - 12:15PM

Prerequisites: Junior standing or above. Includes Graduate and Professional level.

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.

Cross-listed 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 undergraduate stem cell research certificate students and graduate science, law, 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): Understanding the relations among governments, the public & the media in the face of emerging science; research ethics guidelines and oversight; clinical trials; translational issues: data sharing & intellectual property.


- Counts for ethics credit for a number of graduate science programs (check first with your advisor).

- MHB 610 may be used as credit for the Undergraduate Certificate in Stem Cell Research.

Not cross-listed

1 cr (contact instructor for details)

M/4:00PM - 6:00 PM; 8 Sessions meet Jan 20-Mar 8, 2015

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

Instructor: Dayle B. DeLancey

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 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 topics, including: the ethics of population-level screening programs, especially in light of concerns over so-called eugenics; the ethics of laws requiring vaccination for certain diseases; Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial public health legacy in New York City; whether employers have a right to refuse to hire smokers, as many hospitals are now doing; whether it is permissible to ration medical care based on age; the perennial ethical tension between treating those in dire peril now and preventing the deaths of statistical victims in the future; and, finally, relatively new issues of exploitation in public health research trials.

Not cross-listed

1 cr.; Graduate, advanced

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

Prerequisites: Limited to 4th year medical students.

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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