Bioethics (BIOE)

BIOE 1000  Introduction to Bioethics  (4 semester hours)  
Bioethics is a normative enterprise that reflects on the fundamental nature of human personhood, as well as issues of the common good. Theological reflection is integral to this endeavor. This course will invite students to examine the extent to which Christian theological reflection informs bioethical discourse on issues such as genetic medicine, stem cell research, health care dilemmas, artificial intelligence, beginning of life issues, physician-assisted suicide, and other topics. University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Theological Inquiry.
BIOE 3000  Advanced Topics Seminar  (4 semester hours)  
This seminar focuses the students on a single bioethical issue, allowing a deep dive into the nuance and complexity of real-life dilemmas, as framed by the best practices of clinical bioethicists, medical ethics scholars, and "systems" experts--such as regulators, commerce-drivers and researchers. Issues include but are not limited to Justice and Health Care, Bioethics and the Beginning of Life, Bioethics and the End of Life, and Clinical Bioethics. As both a capstone and interdisciplinary seminar, this course will require a student to examine and evaluate a bioethical issue by approaching and integrating content and knowledge from other courses in the Bioethics minor. Prerequisite: BIOE 1000. University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Interdisciplinary Connections.
BIOE 4999  Independent Studies  (1-4 semester hours)  
BIOE 6000  Introduction to Bioethics  (3 semester hours)  
Bioethics represents a complex intellectual phenomenon in the canon of newly emerging disciplines. Although an established academic field, it still struggles to find a formal and coherent methodology for the analysis of ethical problems triggered by advances in medicine and the life sciences. The course introduces students to the historical, theoretical, and thematic dimensions of bioethics. More specifically, the course looks at historical contribution of theologians and philosophers to bioethics; it addresses the theoretical challenges of bioethics as an interdisciplinary field, with an emphasis on dominant theories in bioethics; and, finally, it touches upon the main topics of bioethics, including medical experimentation, assisted reproductive technologies, genetics, transplantation, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.
BIOE 6100  Bioethics at the Beginning of Life  (3 semester hours)  
The course looks at bioethical questions that concern the beginnings of life. Topics include the ethics of abortion, maternal fetal conflicts, ethical problems in perinatology and neonatology, as well as the ethical judgment on the entire field of assisted reproductive medicine - from in vitro fertilization, to surrogate motherhood, gamete storage techniques, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. There is also a clinical component to this class that offers students with an opportunity for engaged learning. Students will be exposed to decision-making in the clinical setting of obstetrics and neonatology departments at various hospitals.
BIOE 6200  Law and Bioethics  (3 semester hours)  
The law contributes to public bioethics discourse on a variety of issues, from abortion to assisted suicide and euthanasia, to questions of access to health care. This course looks at the intersection of law and bioethics, relative especially to the study of important legal cases and court decisions. Examples include Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey for abortion, Quinlan, Cruzan, and Schiavo for end of life issues, etc. Students will be exposed to the ethical reasoning of important legal cases and their jurisprudential developments, thus showing how landmark legal cases have shaped bioethical discourse.
BIOE 6300  Bioethics at the End of Life  (3 semester hours)  
The increasing medicalization of the dying process poses new ethical problems to health care professionals and patients alike. This course looks at the bioethical problems that concern the end of life. Topics include ethical criteria for withholding and withdrawing treatments, palliative care, proxy decision making for incompetent patients, as well as the controversial questions, newly emerging in both the clinical realm and the law, of assisted suicide and euthanasia. This class will entail a clinical component as well. Students will be exposed to decision-making in the clinical setting of the Intensive Care Unit at various hospitals or in nursing homes.
BIOE 6400  Clinical Bioethics  (3 semester hours)  
This class focuses on "clinical" bioethics, that is, the ethics of decision making at the bedside, exposing students to the practical mechanisms presiding over such decisions in today's health care facilities, such as ethics committees, clinical consultations, clinical rounds, etc. In addition to being introduced to some methods and content of clinical bioethics, this class offers students a first exposure to the institutional mechanism mentioned above, together with the opportunity to interact with those who do bioethics in a clinical setting.
BIOE 6500  Elective Topics in Bioethics  (3 semester hours)  
This course analyzes specific topics in bioethics, such as public policy and bioethics, global bioethics, feminist bioethics, the relation between bioethics and environmental sensibility, history of medicine, sociology of medicine, etc. These courses are taught by affiliate faculty of the Bioethics Institute and introduce students to the interdisciplinary dimensions of bioethical questions.
BIOE 6600  Foundations of Theological Ethics  (3 semester hours)  
This course introduces students to the foundations of theological ethics. After a historical introduction dealing with different models of ethical thinking, the course looks at the following: biblical roots of Christian morality; the mediation of faith and moral reason, with special reference to the relation of philosophical and theological ethics; the debate on normative theories; and the integration of virtue ethics, fundamental moral option, and action theory. Applications to contemporary issues in the field of bioethics exemplify the meaning and function of different foundational frameworks and the relation between theory and practice in theological ethics.
BIOE 6700  Foundations of Philosophical Ethics  (3 semester hours)  
This course introduces students to the theories and problems of moral philosophy, comprising both a historical and a systematic component. Main versions of ethics will be studies, including natural law and virtue ethics, deontological and consequentialist theories. Students will understand the function and importance of ethical frameworks for the articulation of bioethical problems.
BIOE 6999  Independent Studies  (1-3 semester hours)