Recently I gave a lecture on medical ethics as part of the IDC 201: History of Medicine course which direct entrants to the Integrated Liberal Arts and Medicine (INTARMED) Program take in their last semester before moving on to medicine proper.
In this page you’ll find the slide deck used as well as suggested articles for further learning.
These materials are supplementary but not necessary for the exam and reflection paper which are required of the students. I hope you find these helpful in pursuing the good of knowledge.
At the end of the session, the student should be able to:
- Describe the scope of medical ethics and bioethics
- Distinguish bioethical theories including the four principles and natural law approaches
- Apply natural law principles to selected bioethical cases
Video clips used in the presentation
- “Is abortion available up to birth for Down’s syndrome?” from A World Without Down Syndrome – YouTube
- “Sally Phillips interviews mother of child with Down’s syndrome” from A World Without Down Syndrome – YouTube
- “Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment” from Vlogs of History – YouTube
- “Extremis” Trailer – YouTube
- “Mary Takes a Bullet” from Sherlock: The Six Thatchers – YouTube
Introduction to Bioethics
Oaths and Pledges
- Hippocratic Oath: Quaint Relic or Solemn Vow? – Link – This analysis of the Hippocratic Oath highlights the virtues embodied in the text.
- World Medical Association (WMA) Updates Hippocratic Oath – Link – This short article highlights differences between the 1948 and 2017 versions of the oath (or pledge) used by doctors across the world: more emphasis on autonomy, less on the beginning of life, and a shift towards positive law rather than universal natural law.
- Philippine Medical Association (PMA) Code of Ethics – Link
- Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) Code of Ethics – Link
Beginning of Life Issues
- No more Down Syndrome in Iceland – Link
- Do pro-lifers have the abortion argument all wrong? – Link – This post discusses philosopher Peter Kreeft’s “apple argument”.
- The Embryo Before the Physician – Link
- In Vitro Fertilization and the Welfare of Embryos – Link
End of Life Issues
- The family said, “Do everything.” – Link – In this story, a woman with dementia who previously gave a do not resuscitate (DNR) order is neglected at home, arrests and becomes unable to decide for himself. Her son who becomes the surrogate decision-maker reverses the DNR.
- Charlie Gard: Doing the right thing for the right reason (press statement from the Anscombe Bioethics Centre) – Link
- Physicians Without Chests: On the End to Call Conscientious Objection in Medicine – Link – The authors criticize an argument that conscientious objection should be abolished because because of its difference in medicine and in the military. They argue that physicians who oppose certain practices in the profession should not be prevented from practicing altogether.
Asian and Filipino Bioethics
- Does Asia have a distinctive bioethics? – Link
- Justice and healthcare: When ordinary is extraordinary – Link
- Another look at “Seven Sundays”: Lessons in Filipino Bioethics – Link – This movie gives viewers a peek at how bioethics operates within the Filipino culture.
- Natural Law for Dummies Part I – Link
- Natural Law for Dummies Part II – Link
- The New Natural Law Theory – Link – This philosophical paper introduces the reader to this branch of the natural law tradition.
- BioEdge – This site usually publishes short news and commentaries that helps you keep updated with the latest happenings in bioethics.
- The Public Discourse – This is the online journal of The Witherspoon Institute. They publish articles on political and ethical issues occasionally touching on bioethics.