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Applied Ethics and the Professions (Biomedical and Health Ethics)

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Applied Ethics and the Professions - Biomedical & Health Ethics

Heather M. Ross

The 21st century has introduced many changes in the way human beings on the planet live and has presented challenges to the social structure of all nations. Technology has transformed how we live, how we work, and very importantly, how we view life and what its value is to be. Consequently, medicine cannot avoid a challenge to its traditions and values. As a social institution, it reflects the values of the larger society. At the same time, medicine deals with issues of life and health, with the goal of extending life and enhancing health. Thus, as it is challenged by the society, it also forces society to redefine its own view of when life begins, when life ends, and what a quality life should be.

It is critical, therefore, that we examine the issue of values and ethics in medicine and biomedical research. The purpose of the Master of Arts Program in Applied Ethics in the Professions-Biomedical and Health Ethics concentration is to integrate academic and clinical dimensions of moral issues in medical practice and biomedical research. Students from a broad range of backgrounds will be exposed to the internal and external logics of medicine, health care and biotechnology and will gain substantive understanding of ethical, cultural and societal issues in a variety of domains. Through course work and other experiences, students will deliberate individually and collectively about a wide range of issues and problems in contemporary medicine and the history of medicine; develop advanced critical normative reasoning and judgment capacities; and cultivate effective communication skills for academic, clinical and policy contexts.

In the AEP-BHE concentration, you will be asked to confront these critical questions in biomedical and health ethics. You will be challenged to see if you can predict the trajectory in medicine and biomedical research. Ultimately, you will have the opportunity to explore solutions to the problems that change in the field causes as well as the reciprocal social changes that constrain the field. This will be an exciting adventure! 

We welcome you to the AEP-BHE concentration!

Heather M. Ross
Degree Program Chair