Biomedical Ethics course offered in spring 2004

January 8, 2004

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PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville will offer a class entitled, "Special Topics in Philosophy: Biomedical Ethics in the spring semester of 2004.

According to the course syllabus, 2940 Biomedical Ethics, which will be taught by assistant professor Mary Lenzi, will provide students with an in-depth critical examination of some of the philosophical and ethical issues that typically confront both individuals and society regarding health and disease in the life cycle.

The class is divided into two main parts. The first eight-week curriculum will focus on theoretic frameworks, professional codes and core ethical principles. The second eight weeks of the semester will center on controversial biomedical issues including: the doctor patient relationship, should doctors be able to refuse demands of patients and their families for "futile" treatments, the rationing of Medicaid Health access and/or services, the allocation of resources and the rationing of health care.

"I have taught similar courses in biomedical ethics and I have found that the students have been very engaged and enthusiastic about theses ideas and outcomes. This sort of philosophy course applies well not only to a major and growing field of employment in health care, but also directly to human life concerns. My past teaching experience at both private and state universities has been that Biomedical Ethics is well-received by both majors and minors in health care, as well as by undergraduates seeking to learn more about the discipline of philosophy in the context of a major part of being human," said Lenzi. "After all, individuals seem genuinely concerned about how philosophy and ethics can be beneficial and necessary for making wiser choices about something as intimate and important as health and living better, healthier lives."

According to Lenzi, Biomedical Ethics and other such philosophy courses provide undergraduate students the necessary knowledge, exposure and training to reason ethically through the problems in the human life cycle, from birth, maturation and dying. All stages of human life are related to pertinent issues of health, well-being and disease in relation to one's genes, environment and life-style choices and those targeted habits promoting health rather than disease and disability.

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