• College Hall 3

Current Course Offerings


Summer 2015

BIOE 550 900 - Vaccine Ethics and Policy

Instructor: Jason Schwartz
Time: Wednesdays, 4:30-7:00, May 27-August 5
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

Vaccination is routinely described as one of the foremost achievements in the history of public health. Vaccines are also viewed as powerful potential tools against a growing list of novel disease targets from HIV to Ebola, to name just a few. Despite this enthusiasm, vaccination is a frequent source of controversy, with critics in the United States and worldwide questioning the safety, effectiveness, and necessity of vaccines. Persistent allegations of a link between childhood vaccines and autism, vocal opposition to U.S. state laws that mandate vaccination in order to attend school, and debates over the appropriate distribution of vaccines during public health emergencies are three of the most visible examples of the often contentious atmosphere surrounding vaccination programs and policy today.

In this course, we will explore critical topics in vaccine policy in the United States and internationally, considering the interconnected ethical, political, social, cultural, legal, economic, and historical issues that contribute to ongoing debates about the proper role of vaccines and vaccination programs in public health and global health activities. We will read materials that offer insights and evidence on these topics from numerous disciplinary perspectives, including public health, medicine, health policy, history, ethics, and the social sciences. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the scope and design of contemporary vaccination efforts in the United States and worldwide, the major concerns of vaccine proponents and critics alike, and the contributions of principles and concepts from bioethics and public health ethics to the promotion of individual and population health through vaccination.

Course topics include: vaccination and the ethics of public health; vaccine research and development; vaccine regulation and risk-benefit assessments; safety monitoring and injury compensation; vaccines and autism; vaccine financing and access; mandatory vaccination programs and parental vaccine refusal; vaccines in pandemic, bioterrorism, and Ebola response; human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines; eradication campaigns; vaccines and global health.

BIOE 551 900 - Precision Medicine: Its Claims and Implications

Instructor: Pamela Sankar
Time: Tuesdays, 4:30-7:00, May 26-August 4
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

Precision medicine refers to the movement to individualize medical treatment at the molecular level through the collection, organization, and analysis of genomic, clinical, and exposure data.  Its realization demands innovation from informatics as much as from medicine. Portrayed as capable of improving diagnosis and treatment as well as lowering health care costs, precision medicine garners support from a wide array of government, business, and research interests. In this course we will examine the historical and scientific origins of precision medicine—asking, if precision medicine is the solution, what was the problem and according to whom? The course will explore the ethical implications of precision medicine with particular attention to confidentiality and privacy, social justice, and health disparities.

BIOE 580 900 - Research Ethics

Instructor: Jon Merz
Time: Mondays, 4:30-7:00, June 1-August 3
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

This seminar is intended to give students a broad overview of research ethics and regulation.  The course will convey the moral bases of scientific ethics and the historical evolution of social science and biomedical research ethics and the development, implementation, and limitations of US human subjects regulations.  The course includes readings, lectures, and case-based discussions addressing the following topics: ethics and morality in science; science in society; scientific integrity; misconduct; whistleblowing; conflicts of interest; collegiality, publication and authorship; peer review; the history and development of human experimentation ethics and regulations (HHS, FDA), Institutional Review Boards; informed consent, waivers, vulnerable populations; privacy and the confidentiality of records; epidemiology; ethics in the social sciences; and research using animal subjects.

BIOE 545/546 910 - Mediation Intensive I/III (1 CU)

Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, Lance Wahlert
Time: Thursday-Sunday, May 28-31, 9am-5pm each day
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

This is an immersion experience of learning through role-playing mediation simulations. In this workshop, students will:

  • Learn to effectively manage clinical disputes among and between caregivers, patients and surrogates through mediation
  • Discover how to define problems and assess underlying interests to generate mutually acceptable options
  • Role-play in a variety of clinical situations as both disputants and mediators
  • Practice mediation with professional actors
  • Receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment

BIOE 547/548 920 - Mediation Intensive II/IV (1 CU)

Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, Lance Wahlert
Time: Thursday-Sunday, August 13-16, 9am-5pm each day
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

For course description, see BIOE 545/546 910 - Mediation Intensive I/III above.


Fall 2015

BIOE 601 401/402 - Introduction to Bioethics

Instructor: Autumn Fiester
Time: Tuesdays OR Thursdays, 4:30-7:00, September 1-December 8
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 331

This course is intended to serve as a broad introduction to the field of bioethics. The course will focus on the central areas in research and clinical ethics: genetics, reproduction, end-of-life, informed consent, the history of human subjects research, and surrogate decision-making. In this course, we will study case analysis, bioethics concepts, relevant legal cases, and classical readings in the field of bioethics.

BIOE 550 001 - Bioethics and the Law

Instructor: Jon Merz
Time: Mondays, 4:30-7:00, August 31-December 7
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

This course will present a broad survey of topics at the intersection of law and bioethics. Much of bioethics deals with topics of public policy, and law is the tool of policy. Areas to be covered will range from an overview of American law making to enforcement mechanisms, topics including FDA regulations, state interventions into beginning and end of life issues, privacy, malpractice, healthcare reform, and international issues, including those related to innovation and access to medicines.

BIOE 551 001 - Narrative Ethics: Health, Medicine, and Literature

Instructor: Lance Wahlert
Time: Thursdays, 4:30-7:00, August 27-December 3
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

What is it like to live with a chronic, debilitating, or fatal illness? What does it mean to treat a sick person as a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional? And how does it feel to be a caregiver, witness, or outside party in such circumstances? All of these questions will inform the central query of this course: How do personal narratives inform, explain, or complicate our understandings of the medical world?

In recent decades, medical humanities scholars and bioethicists have striven to include the perspectives of multiple persons in the history and storytelling of medicine. Moreover, leading medical, nursing, and public health schools have incorporated narrative studies as a part of the training of their future doctors, nurses, and clinicians. While such strategies have been innovative at the level of revamping scholastic curriculums, they are hardly new in medical history. From the case study to the medical history to the talking cure, storytelling has been a central component in the diagnostic, therapeutic, and pastoral strategies of medical cosmologies for centuries.

As a trans-historical study of medical storytelling, this course will be concerned with the power of narratives to bring coherence and meaning to the lives of sick persons, caregivers, and medical professionals at moments of great physical and emotional crisis. Accordingly, this course will consider a range of historical and contemporary topics that speak to the bioethical dilemmas of telling, reading, disseminating, and interpreting medically relevant narratives. While we will largely focus on non-fictional accounts (memoirs, medical records, journals, and testimonials), we will also consider how fictional literary sources (stories, poetry, films, and works of art) explore and affect matters related to the topic of “narrative and bioethics.”

BIOE 553 001 - History of Bioethics

Instructor: Jonathan Moreno
Time: Tuesdays, 4:30-7:00, September 1-December 8
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

This course will offer a survey of key documents in the history of bioethics- such as the Hippocratic Oath, the Nuremberg Code, and the Belmont Report- alongside important works in the philosophy of medicine that collectively created the foundation for the young field.  We will also consider the documentary value of certain films, such as Who Should Survive? and Dax's Case. The great documents will be supplemented by important readings that place them in context and help show how understandings of bioethical principles and themes have been modified and refined, revealing how these documents have responded to key contemporary triggers of ethical reflection.

BIOE 555 001 - Mind Matters: Emerging Ethical Issues in Neuroscience

Instructor: Sally Gibbons
Time: Wednesdays, 4:30-7:00, August 26-December 2
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

In April 2014, Barack Obama announced the BRAIN initiative, supporting research that will “revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.”  Committing $300 million in public and private funds, this initiative reflects the widespread belief that we will not only soon understand the complex workings of the brain, and with it the mind, but also predict and even shape and transform human behavior. Of course, these developments inevitably bring with them deeply contentious ethical questions.

In this course, we will critically evaluate the use of neuroimaging to assess a person’s mental status, temperament, and other behaviourally significant features, and we will explore the use of this kind of information in criminal cases. We will also look at new work attempting to discern whether and what kind of conscious awareness may exist in patients with PVS.  We will explore the implications of using mood enhancing drugs, memory dampening techniques, brain stimulation, and neural prostheses and their potential affects on identity and even human nature. We will look at arguments for and against brain sex and neuro-diversity, with an eye towards classifications that “loop” back to shape those so classified.

BIOE 575 401 - Health Policy

CROSS-LISTED: BIOE 575 | HCMG 250 | HCMG 850
Instructors: Ezekiel Emanuel and Sanford Schwartz
Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30-6:00, September 1-December 8
Location: Stiteler Hall B6

The U.S. health care system is the world's largest, most technologically advanced, most expensive, with uneven quality, and an unsustainable cost structure. This multi-disciplinary course will explore the history and structure of the current American health care system and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. How did the United States get here? The course will examine the history of and problems with employment-based health insurance, the challenges surrounding access, cost and quality, and the medical malpractice conundrum.

As the Affordable Care Act is implemented over the next decade, the U.S. will witness tremendous changes that will shape the American health care system for the next 50 years or more. The course will examine potential reforms, including those offered by liberals and conservatives and information that can be extracted from health care systems in other developed countries. Throughout, lessons will integrate the disciplines of health economics, health and social policy, law and political science to elucidate key principles.  This course will provide students a broad overview of the current U.S. healthcare system. The course will focus on the challenges facing the health care system, an in-depth understanding of the Affordable Care Act, and its potential impact upon health care access, delivery, cost, and quality.


 

Spring 2016

Conceptual Foundations of Bioethics

Instructor: Autumn Fiester
Time: Tuesdays OR Thursdays, 4:30-7:00

Cultural Competency: Race, Gender, and Disability in Medicine

Instructor: Lance Wahlert
Time: Thursdays, 4:30-7:00

Clinical Ethics

Instructor: Kim Overby
Time: Mondays, 4:30-7:00

Food Ethics and Policy

Instructor: Anne Barnhill
Time: Wednesdays, 4:30-7:00

Rationing

Instructor: Harald Schmidt
Time: Tuesdays, 4:30-7:00

Research Ethics

Instructor: Jon Merz
Time: Mondays, 4:30-7:00

Death and Dying

Instructors: Ezekiel Emanuel and Alex Guerrero
Time: Wednesdays, 4:30-7:00



 
 
 

Past Courses 

BIOE 551 001 - History of Medicine

Spring 2015
Instructor: Lance Wahlert
Time: Tuesdays, 4:30-7:00, January 20-April 28
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 321

While concerns over patient care, research ethics, and vocational duty have been hallmarks of the medical profession for over two millennia, bioethics (as a distinct and unified disciple) is a relatively new enterprise.   And yet the history of medicine informs the ways in which clinical practices are effectively conducted and ethically scrutinized even today.  Accordingly, this course introduces students to a comprehensive history of the Western Medical Tradition—from the Hippocratic-Galenic method (which dominated Europe and the Middle East from the Classical period to the eighteenth century); to the dawn of Paris Medicine (which reorganized clinical practice and professional training in the nineteenth century); to the global proliferation of biomedical research methods (which has demarcated medicine in the twentieth century).  Engaging in a trans-historical study of Western medicine that features textual, archival, and artistic forms of evidence, we will be focusing on a range of canonical topics: the systematization and triumph of Galen; the development of the fields of physick and surgery; the plague in the early modern period; the role of the asylum in the eighteenth century; the birth of specialties such as gynecology, phrenology, and eugenics; the creation of the teaching hospital; and the infusion of laboratory science into clinical research.  In addition, students will learn about the methodological principles central to the study of the histories of science, medicine, and technology in academia.


BIOE 540 - Challenging Clinical Ethics: Managing Patient/Caregiver Conflict Through Mediation

Spring 2015
Instructor: Edward Bergman
Time: Thursdays, 4:30-7:00, January 15-April 23
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 321

In the contemporary healthcare system patients, families, institutions and a multiplicity of caregivers engage in disputes over a myriad of issues - appropriate care, authorized decision-makers, managed care, information disclosure, and behavior/personality conflicts - sometimes with life and death hanging in the balance. Such disputes are rife with legal, ethical, emotional and scientific complexity. They are frequently highly charged and are often emergent in nature. In recent years, mediation has grown exponentially as a dispute resolution mechanism of choice. Not surprisingly, the success of mediation, and a wider understanding of the process, has led to its application in the realm of healthcare disputes with encouraging results. This course will provide an overview of negotiation fundamentals critical to the practice of mediation followed by an introduction to classical mediation theory and practice. Similarities and differences between mediation in the healthcare field, as distinct from other contexts, will be examined as will special problems highlighted by various commentators in the field. All class members will participate in mediation role-plays designed to simulate disputes prevalent in the healthcare landscape.


BIOE 550 - Ethics of Public Health

Spring 2015
Instructor: Anne Barnhill
Time: Mondays, 4:30-7:00, January 14 (Monday schedule)-April 27
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 321

The uncontrolled 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been called a “moral failure.”  The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has been called a “finger-wagging nanny” because of his public health initiatives.  What do these claims mean?  What are the ethical values and the assumptions about public health underlying claims like these?  This course examines these and other questions about the ethics of public health intervention.  What are the ethical values and moral imperatives that support public health interventions?  How does the pursuit of public health come into conflict with individual autonomy, privacy, and social justice?  How have the primary public health threats changed over the last century, and how has this reshaped the ethics of public health?


BIOE 572 001 - Global Bioethics

Spring 2015
Instructors: Ezekiel Emanuel and Harald Schmidt
Time: Wednesdays, 4:30-7:00, January 21-April 29
Location: Stiteler Hall B6

According to the WHO, around 30 million people with HIV/AIDS should receive anti-retroviral treatment.  But only 10 million do. Drugs containing tenofovir--the standard of care in developed countries—are expensive.  Stavudine-based treatments are much cheaper but have worse side-effects.  Is it ethical to use stavudine-based rather than tenofovir-based treatments in sub-Saharan Africa?   Smoking rates have decreased drastically in most developed countries. But they are increasing in many developing countries. Established public health measures are not implemented, and the tobacco industry pursues a range of marketing activities that would be unacceptable in developed countries. As a consequence, global deaths from smoking are expected to increase to 1bn by the end of the 21st century, with 80% of deaths in developing countries. Is industry’s behavior immoral or normal in a global market? ARDS is a disease of premature newborns.  Is it ethical to test a new ARDS drug in Bolivia if the drug--if proven to be effective-- will be very expensive and accessible only to the richest people in Bolivia and other developing countries?   An overarching question that these different cases raise is whether there are universal ethical standards that should apply to all people, or whether regional variations should be acceptable.  Universalists typically argue that there must be no double standards, and that people should be treated the same regardless of where they live.  Pragmatists raise concerns about moral imperialism, neo-colonialism, or insufficient respect for cultural or other differences. Increasing globalization fuels debates about which of competing sets of moral standards is the right one.  Looking at a range of diverse cases including healthcare research, health policy, flu pandemics, family planning, smoking and obesity policy, and genetically modified crops, this course explores controversies in the cross winds of market forces, politics and ethics, and examines the roles and responsibilities of key actors and international policy guidance.


BIOE 602 401/402 - Conceptual Foundations of Bioethics

Spring 2015
Instructor: Autumn Fiester
Time: Tuesdays OR Thursdays, 4:30-7:00, January 15-April 28
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 331

This course is one of the 2 foundational courses in the MBE program, which together provide students an entre into the field of Bioethics. In Conceptual Foundations, students examine the various theoretical approaches to bioethics and critically assesses their underpinnings. Topics to be covered include an examination of various versions of utilitarianism; deonotological theories; virtue ethics; ethics of care; the fundamental principles of bioethics (autonomy, beneficence, distributive justice, non-maleficence); casuistry; and pragmatism. The course will include the application of the more theoretical ideas to particular topics, such as informed consent, confidentiality, and end of life issues.


BIOE 545/547 - Mediation Intensive I/III

Spring 2015
Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, Lance Wahlert
Time: Friday-Monday, January 16-19, 2015, 9:00am-5:00pm
Location: 3401 Market St., Room 321

This is an immersion experience of learning through role-playing mediation simulations. It has the same format of the other Mediation Intensives, but will NOT duplicate simulations. Students will:

  • Learn to effectively manage clinical disputes among and between caregivers, patients and surrogates through mediation
  • Discover how to define problems and assess underlying interests to generate mutually acceptable options
  • Role-play in a variety of clinical situations as both disputants and mediators
  • Practice mediation with professional actors
  • Receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment


BIOE 601 401/402 - Introduction to Bioethics

Fall 2014
Instructor: Autumn Fiester
Time: Tuesdays OR Thursdays, 4:30-7:00, August 28-December 9
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 331

This course is intended to serve as a broad introduction to the field of bioethics. The course will focus on the central areas in research and clinical ethics: genetics, reproduction, end-of-life, informed consent, the history of human subjects research, and surrogate decision-making. In this course we will study case analysis, bioethics concepts, relevant legal cases, and classical readings on the themes.


BIOE 551 001 - Bioethics and Film

Fall 2014
Instructor: Lance Wahlert
Time: Thursdays, 4:30-7:00, August 28-December 4
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 321

In reality and metaphorically, cinema has served for generations of moviegoers as a site of communal congregation, pedogogical dissemination, and sometimes disease infection. Accordingly, how and where we watch films are just as important as what films have to say about doctors, disease, and death. This course will consider the epidemiological and cultural implications of cinema on bioethics, including how movies and movie theaters themselves have functioned as spaces of contentious discourse regarding public health. Bearing in mind the recent scholarship of film and medical theorists such as Lisa Cartwright, Paula Triechler, and David Serlin, we will study not only the possibility for film to register and comment on cultural understandings of the clinic, but also the ways cinema itself works out, reimagines, and even changes how the clinic is put into practice. Focusing on themes such as quarantine, vaccination, sexual health, end of life care, professional competence, and globalization, we will be watching and discussing public health films and feature-length films by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, David Croneberg, Tamara Jenkins, and Todd Haynes. No background in either cinema studies or bioethics is required for this course.


BIOE 575 401 - Health Policy

Fall 2014
CROSS-LISTED: BIOE 575 | HCMG 250 | HCMG 850
Instructors: Ezekiel Emanuel & J. Sanford Schwartz
Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30-6:00, August 28-December 9
Location: Stiteler B6

The U.S. health care system is the world's largest, most technologically advanced, most expensive, with uneven quality, and an unsustainable cost structure. This multi-disciplinary course will explore the history and structure of the current American health care system and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. How did the United States get here? The course will examine the history of and problems with employment-based health insurance, the challenges surrounding access, cost and quality, and the medical malpractice conundrum.

As the Affordable Care Act is implemented over the next decade, the U.S. will witness tremendous changes that will shape the American health care system for the next 50 years or more. The course will examine potential reforms, including those offered by liberals and conservatives and information that can be extracted from health care systems in other developed countries. Throughout, lessons will integrate the disciplines of health economics, health and social policy, law and political science to elucidate key principles. This course will provide students a broad overview of the current U.S. health care system. The course will focus on the challenges facing the health care system, an in-depth understanding of the Affordable Care Act, and its potential impact upon health care access, delivery, cost, and quality.


BIOE 590 001 - Ethics in Mental Healthcare

Fall 2014
Instructor: Dominic Sisti
Time: Mondays, 4:30-7:00, September 8-December 8
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 321

Mental healthcare—which includes but is not limited to psychiatry, psychology, and clinical social work—is an especially ethically fraught subdiscipline of the larger medical enterprise. Issues range from garden-variety problems related to informed consent, patient capacity, and clinical professionalism to novel issues related to involuntary treatment, research on mentally ill persons, questions about free will and nosological categories. This course will present a survey of these ethical issues by first introducing foundational concepts from ethical theory and the philosophy of psychiatry and mind. Students will be expected to become conversant in several bioethical approaches and methods and be able to use them to critically examine both historical and contemporary questions in mental healthcare and research.


BIOE 603 001 - Advanced Clinical Ethics

Fall 2014
Instructors: Steven Joffe & Jennifer Walter
Time: Wednesdays, 4:30-7:00, August 27-December 3
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 331

Since the 1960s, medical technology has rapidly expanded our capacity to intervene in people's lives. At the same time, profound changes in the health professions as well as in society at large have led to a renegotiation of the relationship between medicine and society. The field of clinical ethics has worked to understand and to shape these radical changes. Although the reality of human vulnerability to illness may not have changed over the millennia, who qualifies for personhood or what it means to respect human dignity have been up for debate. In this advanced course in clinical ethics, we will explore key ethical debates across the entire life course. We will emphasize an interdisciplinary approach that acknowledges a variety of health care providers' experiences, and will consider some of the challenges in clinical decision-making for and with patients, such as rationing at the besdie and requests for assistance in ending a patient's life. We will also examine policies that impact clinical practice, including systems for organ allocation in transplantation. We will draw upon theories from moral philosophy, clinical cases from our practices and from the media, and seminal legal cases to demonstrate the live ethical challenges of clinical practices today.


BIOE 570 001 - Bioethics and National Security

Fall 2014
Instructor: Jonathan Moreno
Time: Tuesdays, 4:30-7:00, September 2-December 9
Location: 3401 Market St, Room 321
Limited Enrollment

At least since Augustine proposed a theory of “just war,” armed conflict has been recognized as raising ethical issues.  These issues have intensified along with the power and sophistication of weapons of war, and especially with increasing engineering capabilities and basic knowledge of the physical world.  The life sciences have had their place in these developments as well, perhaps most vividly with the revelations of horrific experiments conducted by the Nazi and Imperial Japanese militaries, but with much greater intensity due to developments in fields like genetics, neuroscience and information science, and the widely recognized convergence of physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.

The fields of bioethics and national security studies both developed in the decades following World War II.  During the cold war little thought was given to the fact that many national security issues entail bioethical questions, but this intersection has been increasingly evident over the past two decades.  In spite of the overlapping domains of bioethics and national security, there has been remarkable little systematic, institutional response to the challenges presented by these kinds of questions:

  • What rules should govern the conduct of human experiments when national security is threatened?
  • Is it permissible to study ways that viruses may be genetically modified in order to defeat available vaccines, even for defensive purposes?
  • What role may physicians or other health care professionals play in interrogation of suspected terrorists?
  • Must warfighters accept any and all drugs or devices that are believed to render them more fit for combat, including those that may alter cognition or personality?
  • What responsibilities does the scientific community have to anticipate possible “dual purpose” uses or other unintended consequences of its work?

Deploying the resources of ethics, philosophy, history, sociology and political theory, this course will address these and other problems.




 

BIOE 590 900 - Animal Ethics

Summer 2014
Instructor: Anne Barnhill
Time: Tuesdays 4:30-7:00, May 27-August 5, 2014

Humans use non-human animals for food, research, companionship, and entertainment, among other things. Which ways of relating to non-human animals are ethical? Which are unethical? Why? Do non-human animals have moral rights, on a par with human rights? Should any non-human animals have legal rights? Are there ethically better and worse forms of animal agriculture, animal research, zoos, hunting, and keeping animals as companions? If some ways that we relate to non-human animals are unethical, why do they continue? What are some psychological barriers to reform?


BIOE 552 900 - Pharmaceutical Ethics

Summer 2014
Instructor: Jason Schwartz
Time: Wednesdays 4:30-7:00, May 28-August 6, 2014

The testing, regulation, marketing, cost, and safety of pharmaceuticals are among the most complex and controversial topics in contemporary medicine and health policy. In the United States and throughout the world, pharmaceuticals have transformed the practice of medicine, approaches to prevention and treatment, and the creation and evolution of disease definitions, among their many other effects. At the same time, they are a frequent focus of critics who question the conduct of the pharmaceutical industry, the competence of national and international regulators, and the unacknowledged or unidentified risks of pharmaceuticals for patients.

This course will explore the critical yet highly contested place of pharmaceuticals in efforts to protect or improve the health of individuals and populations. In this work, we will direct particular attention to the often underappreciated effects of ethical considerations, individual and community values, and value judgments throughout these activities. Among the specific topics we will examine are: the global pharmaceutical industry, U.S. and international drug clinical trials, drug regulation by the FDA and international authorities, the role of risk-benefit and cost-effectiveness assessments, drug pricing and advertising, global access to pharmaceuticals, and the role of pharmaceuticals in medicalization.


BIOE 560 900 - The Patient-Provider Relationship

Summer 2014
Instructor: Ed Bergman
Time: Thursdays 4:30-7:00, May 29-August 7, 2014

In recent years the significance of dysfunctional caregiver-patient communications as a cause of patient dissatisfaction and clinical conflict has drawn heightened attention. This course examines the elements of caregiver-patient communications in the formation and maintenance of the physician-patient relationship and considers the status of effective clinical communication as an ethical and legal imperative. “Clinical empathy” is posited as a paradigm for productive management of emotional content within the physician-patient relationship. The concept of “the difficult patient” is explored as a possible misnomer, representing systemic inadequacies in caregiver responsiveness. The prospect of reduced conflict in the clinical setting, and a potential reduction in malpractice claims, are considered as potential by-products of enhanced communication skills. Evolution of the physician-patient relationship from the “physician as expert” to a negotiated “shared decision-making model” is explored through participation in clinical role plays. The implications of “patient autonomy” and “informed consent” for communication within physician-patient relationships are examined. Finally, the course introduces clinical ethics mediation as a preferred methodology for the management of clinical conflict where third-party intervention is required.


BIOE 545 910/547 910 - Mediation Intensive I/III (1 CU)

Summer 2014
Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, and Lance Wahlert
Time: Friday-Monday, May 30-June 2, 2014, 9-5pm daily
Location: Room 321

This is an immersion experience of learning through role-playing mediation simulations. It has the same format of the other Mediation Intensives, but will NOT duplicate simulations. Students will:

  • Learn to effectively manage clinical disputes among and between caregivers, patients and surrogates through mediation
  • Discover how to define problems and assess underlying interests to generate mutually acceptable options
  • Role-play in a variety of clinical situations as both disputants and mediators
  • Practice mediation with professional actors
  • Receive constructive feedback in supportive environment

BIOE 546 920/548 920 - Mediation Intensive II/IV (1 CU)

Summer 2014
Instructors: Edward Bergman, Autumn Fiester, and Lance Wahlert
Time: Thursday-Sunday, August 14-17 2014, 9-5pm daily
Location: Room 321

For course description, see BIOE 545/547 Mediation Intensive I/III above.