Biomedical Ethics

BTHX 5325 | Biomedical Ethics

Sept. 5 - Dec. 21

Fall 2023 Courses
3 Cr
| Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
| Remote: Online with live Zoom meetings

This course examines contemporary issues in bioethics, focusing on practical issues that arise in clinical care, public health, and health policy settings. The course also introduces conceptual frameworks and methods to analyze these issues, though the emphasis will be on challenges faced by patients and their loved ones, health professionals, and policy makers, not on ethical theory. To fully understand and evaluate these complex issues, it is critical that we consider them from a diversity of perspectives. Hence, we will spend most of our time in class discussion, openly and respectfully listening to and engaging with each other in interdisciplinary/interprofessional conversation. Class meetings will be fully online via Zoom; no in-person meetings will be required.

This course has been approved for Interprofessional Education (IPE) credit for health professions students.


About the Instructor

Headshot of Debra DeBruin

Debra DeBruin, PhD, Director, Director of Graduate Studies, and Associate Professor

Expertise: Public Health Ethics | Ethics of Health Policy | Health Equity | Public Health Preparedness and Crisis Response

Dr. Debra DeBruin primarily works on issues in public health ethics and the ethics of health policy, with a focus on concerns about social justice and health equity. Much of this work addresses issues of gender, race and socioeconomic disadvantage. She also has done substantial work on public health emergency planning, with an emphasis on the importance of equity in this perilous context. She co-directed the Minnesota Pandemic Ethics Project and led the project to develop ethics guidance for Crisis Standards of Care in Minnesota; both of these projects were conducted under contract with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). During the COVID-19 pandemic, she co-led the Minnesota COVID Ethics Collaborative, a statewide advisory group that provided input to MDH on ethical issues in pandemic response. 

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