Biomedical Ethics

Taught Summer 2007
Taught Summer 2005


Walter Glannon, Biomedical Ethics
Peter Singer, Rethinking Life and Death

Additional Readings

The Need for Biomedical Ethics

Robert Veatch, "The Sources of Professional Ethics: Why Professions Fail", The Lancet (2009)

Rights, Permissibility, and Abortion

Judith Jarvis Thomson, "A Defense of Abortion"
Michael Tooley, Abortion and Infanticide (short selection)
Don Marquis, "An Argument that Abortion is Wrong"
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, "You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had: A Reply to Marquis on Abortion"
David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion (selections)


Alison Davis, "Right to Life of Handicapped"
Robin Marantz Henig, "A Life-or-Death Situation"
Harriet McBryde Johnson, "Unspeakable Conversations"
James Rachels, "Active and Passive Euthanasia"
Winston Nesbitt, "Is Killing No Worse Than Letting Die?"
Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School, "A Definition of Irreversible Coma"
Ronald Dworkin, Thomas Nagel, Robert Nozick, John Rawls, Thomas Scanlon, and Judith Jarvis Thomson, "The Philosophers' Brief"
Judith Jarvis Thomson, "Physician-Assisted Suicide: Two Moral Arguments"

Distribution of Benefits, Human Enhancement

Jeff McMahan, "Justice and Liability in Organ Allocation"
Jonathan Glover, "Questions About Some Uses of Genetic Engineering"
Nick Bostrom and Toby Ord, "The Reversal Test: Eliminating Status Quo Bias in Applied Ethics"
Allen Buchanan, Better than Human: The Promise and Perils of Enhancing Ourselves

'Playing God': The Greater Good, Paternalism, and Consent

Handout on the Cecil Kelley Criticality Accident
Lori Andrews and Dorothy Nelkin, "Whose body is it anyway? Disputes over body tissue in a biotechnology age", The Lancet (1998)
The Hippocratic Oath

Handout on the Havasupai Tribe vs. Arizona Board of Regents Lawsuit
John Arras, "Antihypertensives and the Risk of Temporary Impotence: A Case Study in Informed Consent"
Leonard Glantz, George Annas, Michael Grodin, and Wendy Mariner, "Research in Developing Countries: Taking 'Benefit' Seriously"
Alex London, "Children and 'Minimal Risk' Research: The Kennedy-Krieger Lead Paint Study"