Syllabus

Bioethics

Week 1
Course Overview and Welcome
Navigate a course in D2L
1. Locate important course information i.e. syllabus
2. View the instructor profile
3. Communicate with instructor and peers
4. Construct a Class Directory entry
5. Communicate effectively in an online class discussion ice-breaker
6. Participate in community building
7. Define ethics and bioethics
8. Distinguish ethical questions from scientific and legal questions and from questions of personal preference, custom, or habit

Week 2
Bioethics Concepts and Skills
1. Employ ethical inquiry
2. Apply ethical considerations to ethical inquiry
3. Recognize well reasoned and strong justification for one's position

Week 3
Biomedical Ethics: Assisted Reproductive Technology
1. Describe how conception works
2. Identify major issues related to fertility and causes of infertility
3. Discuss major assisted reproductive technologies, including IVF, ZIFT, GIFT, ISCI, and PGD
4. Identify major ethical concerns and controversies relating to assisted reproductive technologies

Week 4
Biomedical Ethics: Third Party Assisted Reproductive Technology
Identify fertilization and the early stages of development.
Define terms related to early stages of development
Discuss third party assisted reproductive technologies, including sperm donation, egg donation, surrogacy and embryo adoption
Identify major ethical concerns and controversies relating to third party assisted reproductive technologies
Debate the role of regulation in third party assisted reproductive technology

Week 5
Biomedical Ethics: Allocating Scarce Resources
1. Identify major organ systems and tissues that can be transplanted and various diseases that impact these systems
2. Identify basic scientific and medical concepts that enable physicians to transplant an organ or tissue from one person into another
3. Identify how organs and tissues are allocated to patients on transplant waiting lists
4. Identify the major reasons for a national shortage of organs and a growing list of patients awaiting transplants and debate a solution
5. Identify major ethical concerns and controversies relating to organ and tissue transplantation and the organ and tissue donor shortage

Week 6
Biomedical Ethics: End of Life
1. Define sanctity of life and death
2. Explain the term “good death” and the principles involved in providing “good death to a terminally ill patient” by defining the different types of euthanasia
3. Explain the terms: “best interests”, “advance directives”, “withdrawal or withholding of life support system”, “do not resuscitate (DNR) orders”, "PVS","coma"
4. Review cases involving end-of-life issues that illustrate the complexities of the issue - and the emotions they can create
5. Develop awareness of other moral dilemmas involved in assisted deaths
6. Discuss different arguments for and against euthanasia, and the alternatives

Week 7
Genethics: Introduction to Biotechnology and HGP
1. Trace genetic discoveries and development molecular biology from the 1940s to the present
2. Describe molecular laboratory techniques used in biotechnology
3. Complete a virtual lab exercises using tools of biotechnology
4. Describe the Human Genome Project
5. Describe the common methods and applications of biotechnology
6. Use the OMIM

Week 8
Genethics: Weighing Benefits and Harms: Ethical Issues in Genetic Screening
1. Outline and review the fundamental laws of genetics; Laws of dominant/recessive alleles, segregation, and assortment
2. Explain how bioinformatics tools are useful in analyzing biological sequence and structure information
3. Apply sequence analysis and protein visualization tools to explore genetic disorders
4. Review a case involving genetic screening that illustrate the complexities of the issue - and the emotions they can create
5. Identify and critically evaluate the ethical implications of genetic testing for individuals and their families, and society at large
6. Explore that decision making about genetic tests varies according to factors such as age at disease onset, the predictive value of the tests, and whether anything effective can be done for the condition

Week 9
Genethics: Gene-technology for life improvement and to cure disease
Define processes and tools for genetic engineering in humans, with reference to somatic cell and germ cell therapy
Review potential gene therapy applications and categorize them as "enhancements" or "treatments"
Review cases involving gene therapy that illustrate the complexities of the issue - and the emotions they can create
Compare and contrast ethical issues involved in somatic and germ line therapy and discuss the benefits and disadvantages of somatic and germline therapy
Identify and critically evaluate the ethical implications of genetic therapy for individuals and their families, and society at large

Week 10
Genethics: From the Lab to the Dinner Table
Compare the processes of selective breeding and transgenic manipulation of plants
Discuss the arguments for and against genetic modification of foods
Describe the possible future impact of genetically modified foods
Identify foods that you consume or encounter that do or likely contain genetically modified organisms and those that do not
Discuss critically some of the issues that surround the GMO debate to include: globalization, safety, labeling, and impact on family farms

Week 11
Research Ethics: Modifying the Natural World: Human Responsibilities toward Animals
Review the 3R of animal research (replacement, reduction and refinement) and connect them to regulations surrounding research
Examine the animals used and why animals are used
Review cases involving animal research that illustrate the complexities of the issue - and the emotions they can create
Relate way in which animal research has benefited people and animals
Discuss and critically evaluate reasons for against animal research

Week 12
Research Ethics: The Power and Peril of Human Experimentation
1. Identify benefits to human health as a result of using people in research studies
2. Identify significant abuses of research participants
3. Recognize that medical research is primarily intended to advance knowledge and bring benefits to people in the future
4. Identify key ethical considerations of respect for persons and harms and benefits as they relate to research ethics
5. Review cases involving human research that illustrate the complexities of the issue - and the emotions they can create
6. Analyze a case and use your understanding of key ethical concepts to evaluate where the study is unethical

Week 13
Research Ethics – Neuroethics: Advances in Neuroscience
1. Identify the basic parts of the brain and explain their main functions
2. Describe methods of neuroimaging
3. Explain and understand in general terms the concept of Neuroethics
4. Understand that ethical questions may arise with advances in neurotechnology
5. Look at brain fingerprinting scans and differentiate between normal and abnormal scans

Week 14
Research Ethics: Stem Cells
1. Explain what stem cells are, where they are located, how they develop, and how they function
2. Explain the different methods of obtaining stem cells, the potential use of the types obtained, and how the source relates to the controversy over stem cell research
3. Review cases involving stem cell that illustrate the complexities of the issue - and the emotions they can create
4. Describe the range of positions taken by individuals/organization/countries with respect to stem cells
5. Evaluate policy options identified by the scientific community and the U.S. government, and become familiar with the ethical debate which has shaped this policy
6. Integrate and apply understandings about stem cells, disease, and policy issues to develop an informed, personal position

Week 15
Bioethics: Bringing it All Together: Past, Present and Future
1. Discuss present events as well as what the future might hold for bioethics
2. Review the information that you've learned in the course
3. Share some final thoughts with your classmates
4. Reflect on your experience in the course
5. Share what your future may hold and what advice you'd offer for future students of this course