Module Overview:

The term "bioethics" was invented by the medical research scientist Van Rensselaer Potter in 1970. He coined this term to inaugurate "a new discipline that combines biological knowledge with a knowledge of human value systems."

The term BioEthics has traditionally referred to the study of moral issues in the field of medical treatment and research. We will take the more general view describing ethical issues in the life sciences. The discoveries made by science and the application of those discoveries through technology has illuminated an important, yet often ignored, aspect of the scientific enterprise. Only in recent years have we begun to discus the ethics or morality of what is or is not being done in the areas of science and technology. Each day scientists, medical personnel, government officials and the general public are debating and deciding what types of scientific and technological developments should be undertaken.

Often these decisions are based on single factors such as economics. Often there is a desire to produce materials and products or carry out particular lines of research which will benefit the state or national interests alone. Because we live in a GLOBAL community the actions taken by one group or country often have effects far beyond the local borders.

Background information in biology or the general area of science will be provided followed by a look at the applications and implications of this information to society.

Module Objectives:

It is our hope that this module will:
1. Challenge students to think deeply about bioethical issues that occur in modern society;
2. Increase a student's capacity to recognize and analyze bioethical problems or situations;
3. Enable students to better face decisions that arise from the applications of science and technology.


Final grades will be determined by an in-class examination based on the information presented in class and any required reading materials and, on the information provided on at least one reaction paper. Failure to take the final will result in a grade of F. More than one absence may also result in a grade of F.

Introduction, What is Science, Areas of Bioethical Interest various URLs (see D2L)
Ethical Dilemmas - If I could, would I, should I; Modifications to Mankind - Today & Tomorrow Robin Cook, Chromosome #6
Review of Book
various URLs
handout - reaction worksheet
Here Come the Clones; Farming for Organsinformation on stem cell research ;various handouts & URLs
Information Ethics; Who should know, what, when, how various handouts & URLs
Bioethics & Politics
Bioethics Module Exam

Information About Genetically Modified Food
The National Genome Research Institute - includes information on ELSI (Ethical, Legal, Social Implications of Human Genetics Research. Ethics Update includes Applied Ethics topics; great for 1st module

Additional Web Sites Pertinent to Bioethical Issues

Stem Cells: A Primer
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
The American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
Canadian Bioethics Society
The Center for the Study of Bioethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin
The Hastings Center
National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature
National Bioethics Advisory Commission
National Institutes of Health Bioethics Homepage
Western Institutional Review Board
Applied Ethics Resources on the WWW
American Society of Human Genetics
National Human Genome Research Institute - Bioethics Resources
Genetic Testing and Insurance

BIOL 1111 Principles of Biology

Fall 2014

Biology: The Science of Life
Inorganic Chemistry
Biochemistry: Biology Brings Chemistry to Life
Energetics & Enzymes
Membranes and Transport Mechanisms
Cells: Life's Basic Units
Cellular Respiration
Cellular Reproduction
DNA Structure and Function
Protein Synthesis
Viruses and The Prokaryotic World
Lab Investigations