Is it okay to take pills to help you ace exams? Should you be able to choose the sex of your child? Is abortion murder? These controversial questions will be explored through Manga in this bioethics course. Bioethics is an interdisciplinary field of study that looks into ethical, legal, and social implications of life sciences and health care.
This course will help you understand key ethical issues surrounding crucial problems that profoundly impact your life from birth to death.
Reproductive technology such as surrogacy and sex-selection of the baby
The use of medical technology for the purpose of enhancement
Living Donor Organ Transplantation
ES Cells and iPS Cells
Lifespan and Eternal Life
Brain Death and Organ Transplants
You will also learn about ethical arguments and regulations in Japan and other countries concerning life sciences and healthcare. Our hope is, through this course, you will better understand and formulate your own opinions on these important issues.
DISCLAIMER: The intention of this course is to present different arguments and perspectives on a number of different topics on bioethics. In other words this course DOES NOT aim to instill in its audience any particular perspective, religious or otherwise, on each topic.
No previous knowledge of bioethics is needed.
Week1: The Ethics of Assisted Reproductive Technology
What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?
Pros & Cons of Sex Selection
Ethical Issues Associated with Assisted Reproductive Technology
Week 2: The Ethics of Truth-Telling
Cancer and Its Disclosure in Japan
Pros & Cons of Cancer Disclosure
Paternalism & Self-Determination
Informed Consent & Patient-Centered Medicine
Week 3: Is Abortion Murder?
Current Situation of Abortion in Japan
Ethical Discussions in Japan
Ethical Discussions in Europe & America
Social Problems Related to Abortion
Week 4: What’s wrong with Enhancement?
Use of Medical Technologies for Enhancement
The Ethical Pros and Cons of Enhancement – The Anti-Use Position
The Ethical Pros and Cons of Enhancement – Where Are Enhancement Technologies Heading?
Week 5: Is Euthanasia Wrong?
Euthanasia and Death with Dignity
Japanese Cases of Euthanasia
For and Against Euthanasia
Week 6: Living-Donor Organ Transplantation
The History of Organ Transplantation
Living-Donor Organ Transplantation and Ethical Problems
Living-Donor Organ Transplants: Exception or the Rule?
Week 7: Cloning Technology
Media Reports on the Birth of Dolly the Cloned Sheep and “the Birth of a Human Clone”
Two Purposes of Cloning and Ethical Controversy
Regulation of Human Cloning
Discussion with the Instructor – Part 1
Week 8: ES Cells and iPS Cells
Production of ES Cells and Regenerative Medicine
Barriers to ES Cell Production
The Production of iPS Cells
Problems of iPS Cells
Week 9: Lifespan and Eternal Life
Human Lifespan in the Past, Present, and Future
Effects of Life-Extension Technologies on the Individual
Effects of Life-Extension Technologies on Society
Discussion with the Instructor – Part 2
Week 10: Brain Death and Organ Transplants
The Organ Transplant Law and its Revision in Japan
The Process of Organ Donation
Ethical Controversy over Brain Death 1
Ethical Controversy over Brain Death 2