IDS385-5: Special Topics

Topic: When Medicine & State Collide

August 23, 2017 - December 5, 2017
DaysTimeLocationInstructorGERCreditOPUS #
4:00pm - 5:15pm
Candler Library 121
Zivot, Joel

Fall, spring. Highly focused courses, drawing on multiple disciplines of the humanities and social sciences; may be repeated for credit when topics vary.

When medicine and the state collide: bioethics and the due process of cruelty

Medicine, by virtue of a thoughtful and civilized reputation, can cloak and conceal nefarious actions on behalf of the state and in the name of justice.  Medicine as a profession has been both a willing and an unwilling participant here and when we say willing, we speak of a degenerate form of scientific and medical conduct. Bioethics is offered both as a refutation and justification of medical practice when the interests of the state and the interests of the profession collide.

 The course will focus on the intersection of science, medicine, and the state. First, the tools and language of the scientific method will be discussed. A background in science and scientific reasoning is not a necessaryrequirement for this course. The student will learn how to reason scientifically and learn what questions and claims can be asked and asserted within the lexicon of science. From a new knowledge of scientific methodology and reasoning, we move to specific examples of the intersection of science and the law with a focus on persuasion, torture, physician assisted suicide, abortion and execution. We will review some landmark legal decisions as well as arguments advanced by physicians that have chosen to participate or support state action in conflict with common medical ethical practice. We will also consider the choice of the prisoner with respect to agency, consent, participation and refusal.  

The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.