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Courses for Spring 2016

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.

Cross-listed with History of Science

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

Monday/Wednesday 11:00 am

Prerequisites: None, Open to Freshmen.


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

Instructor: Monica M. White

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.

Cross-listed with Environmental Studies

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

Tuesday/Thursday 1:00 - 2:15 pm

Prerequisites: None


Medical History and Bioethics 275:
Science, Medicine and Race: A History

Instructor: Pablo Gomez

This course surveys the medical and scientific constructions of ideas about race and ethnicity since the eighteenth century. We will place the development of racial theories of sickness and health in a broad social and political context - and, in particular, explain the medical salience of race in the setting of slavery and colonialism. Discussions will focus primarily on North America and Europe, but will also explore the making of knowledge about race in global settings.

Cross-listed with Afro-American Studies, History of Science

3 cr.; Z Humanities or Social Science, C (L&S), E (Elementary)

Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Open to Freshmen


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

Instructor: Dayle B. DeLancey

Who is responsible for public health and how far does this responsibility extend? How do we, in a democratic state, reconcile individual rights and collective welfare? This course looks at these questions through American history from the European conquest through the most recent clamor over anthrax attacks and other forms of bioterrorism. Using both primary documents and secondary sources, the course explores the role of infectious disease outbreaks, the development of organized public health infrastructures, and the part played by social, cultural and political concerns in providing for American public health. From yellow fever to HIV, from cigarette smoking to banning Oreos and other trans-fat foods, the course examines efforts to improve the health of Americans, sometimes by force of law, in the name of public welfare.

Cross-listed with History of Science

3 credits, B (Biological Science), I (Intermediate)

Monday/Wednesday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. Excludes university specials and guests. Graduate students must also register for 709 concurrently with 509.


Medical History and Bioethics 513:
Environment and Health in Global Perspective

Instructor: Gregg Mitman

What explains the distribution of different diseases around the world and how have these patterns changed over time? In what ways have the growth of cities, new industries, extractive economies, mass migrations, and “global colonialism” shaped human health? How has the rise of emerging diseases shaped visions of the global environment?

This course begins to answer such questions by exploring the dynamic interplay between environment and health over the last 300 years. We will consider both the history of ideas about environment and illness as well as the ways in which changing environments have affected well-being. In addition, we will examine how place - from agricultural plantations to the factory floor, from health resorts to toxic waste sites - has mattered to the experience of illness, the production of knowledge, and the control of disease. We will also investigate various social, economic, and political forces that have historically shaped inequitable environmental and disease burdens and the different struggles for health and environmental justice that have occurred across the globe.

Cross-listed with History of Science, Environmental Studies

3 credits; Z (Humanities or Social Science), Counts for Liberal Arts and Science credit in L&S. Advanced

Monday/Wednesday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

Prerequisites: Junior status or higher (including graduate and professional careers). Excludes university Special and Guest students. Graduate students must also register for 713 concurrently with 513.


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 or risks of harm and/or invite individual 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 ethical issues raised by the Ebola epidemic.

Cross-listed with Philosophy

3 credits; H (Humanities) A (Advanced)

Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 - 10:45 am

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: Robert K Streiffer and Norman C. Fost

Study of ethical issues arising from medical procedures and aspects of health care such as genetic screening, paternalism, informed consent, prenatal diagnosis, prolongation of life, treatment of severe birth defects, and human subject research.

Cross-listed with Philosophy

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

Tuesday 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, plus discussions

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.).

Cross-listed with S&A Pharmacy, History, History of Science, and Medieval Studies

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

Tuesday/Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

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-humans. Readings cover applied ethics, moral theory, 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. I Intermediate.

Tuesday/Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

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

Variable Credit Course 1-3 credits. Must have instructor consent to enroll for more than one credit.

Monday 4:00 - 6:00 pm; 8 sessions

Prerequisites: Graduate or Professional and consent of instructor.


Medical History and Bioethics 668:
Topics in Medical History
Topic: American Nursing: A History

Instructor: Dayle B. DeLancey

Covering the history of nursing in the United States from the 1600s through the present, this course chronicles the development and evolution of American nursing as a standalone subject. Beginning by comparing nursing in Britain’s first American colonies to previous histories of nursing nuns and others in the European past, the course considers: 17th- and 18th-century American nursing as the dominion of female relatives in home settings and of women of “lower social strata” in public settings; the influence of 18th-century crises like the Revolutionary War and the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 upon nursing practice; the dual impact of Civil War medical hygiene and the U.S.’s embrace of Briton Florence Nightingale’s mid-19th-century nursing reforms; the development of surgical and public health nursing within late-19th- and early-20th-century laboratory and social approaches to medicine; nursing’s interaction with emerging medical technologies in the 20th and 21st centuries; and the impact of World War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the first Gulf War, and the ongoing ’War on Terror’ upon nursing practice over the last century. In the process, the course will explore the development and evolution of: the nursing profession; nursing education; nursing ethics; the impact of socio-political change upon nursing; questions of gender, status, expertise, and authority in nursing; and the popular image of the American nurse.

Cross-listed with History of Science

3 credits; H (Humanities) A (Advanced)

Monday/Wednesday 4:00 - 5:15 pm

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


Medical History and Bioethics 699:
Independent Study in Medical History

Instructor: Staff

Not cross-listed

1-3 credits; C (counts for L&S), A (Advanced)

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 713:
Environment and Health in Global Perspective

Instructor: Gregg Mitman

A satellite graduate seminar that explores the issues covered in 513 in greater depth, required of graduate students enrolled in Med Hist 513

Cross-listed with History of Science, Environmental Studies

1 cr.

Time to be arranged

Prerequisites: Graduate status and concurrent registration in Med Hist 513.


Medical History and Bioethics 720:
Historical Perspectives in Medicine: History of American Medicine

Instructor: Richard C. Keller

Social Dimensions of Global Health.

Not cross-listed

1 cr.

Wednesday 12:05 - 12:55 pm

Prerequisites: Limited to medical students.


Medical History and Bioethics 728:
Bioethics and Society

Instructor: Linda F. Hogle

The aim of this course is to provide understanding of the broader social, cultural and political contexts in which debates around medical science and practice occur, and to explore the use of qualitative and interdisciplinary methods to conduct research in these areas. Readings will draw upon perspectives from the medical social sciences & science and technology studies to analyze dilemmas in medicine as well as to critically examine the field of bioethics. The course will cover topics in biomedical science and technology as well as clinical and public health, and may emphasize one or the other depending on the interests of enrolled students. It is designed for the needs of graduate students in the social sciences and humanities, population health sciences, health policy, law, medicine, and health professions. Basic knowledge of social theory is recommended.

Topics may include concepts of risk, medical privacy, digital health and the internet of things, biological citizenship and participation in large-scale research cohorts, among others.

Not cross-listed

3 cr.; B (Biological Science)

Thursday 1:20 - 3:15 pm

Prerequisites: Graduate or Professional Status and consent of Instructor.


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

Tuesday/Thursday 5:30 - 7:00 pm (meets Jan-Feb)

Prerequisites: Limited to 4th year medical students.


Medical History and Bioethics 919:
Graduate Studies in Medical History
Topic: History of Health Activism in the United States

Instructor: Judith Houck

They started free clinics. They took back the night. They lobbied Congress. They showed each other their cervixes. They practiced medicine without a license. They delivered babies. They insisted they weren’t sick. They insisted they were. They shouted, they marched, they shopped, they struck, they sat.

Health activists, working both inside healthcare professions and outside them, have profoundly shaped medical institutions, workplace environments, research agendas, disease boundaries, treatment options, and medical accessibility. This course examines the history of health activism in the United States, paying particular attention to the place of race, gender, and sexuality in health movements.

Cross-listed with History of Science

3 credits. A (Advanced)

Wednesday 9:00 - 11:15 am

Prerequisites: Graduate status 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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