edX: Ethics in Life Sciences and Healthcare: Exploring Bioethics through Manga

 with  Satoshi Kodama

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.

Topics include:

  • Reproductive technology such as surrogacy and sex-selection of the baby
  • Informed consent
  • Abortion
  • The use of medical technology for the purpose of enhancement
  • Euthanasia
  • Living Donor Organ Transplantation
  • Cloning Technology
  • 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? Sex Selection 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 Palliative Medicine Living Wills Week 6: Living-Donor Organ Transplantation Organ Transplantation The History of Organ Transplantation Living-Donor Organ Transplantation and Ethical Problems Organ Trafficking 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
1 Student
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Self Paced
Subject Philosophy
Institution Kyoto University
Provider edX
Language English
Certificates $49 Certificate Available
Hours 2-3 hours a week
Calendar 10 weeks long

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Teresa Tse completed this course.
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