Anthropology of Bioethics and Biomedicine
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Social Research
Department: Psychology
Course Number: GPSY 6410
Course Format: Tutorial
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Anthropology
  • Psychology
  • Humanities
This course is intended to introduce students to the intersections of bioethics, biomedicine and anthropology, and the many ethical issues that arise in the rapidly changing fields of biomedicine and the life sciences. Bioethics, born out of philosophy, is generally concerned with normative issues (i.e. what we ought to do) and has been primarily focused on Western medical controversies. This normative philosophical approach may seem hard to reconcile with distinct anthropological approaches towards biomedicine, which often reveal the multiple and culturally variable ways in which health and illness are experienced across time and space. We will explore these tensions and differences by examining the ways in which anthropologists have specifically engaged with bioethics and biomedicine in their ethnographic writings. This will include topics such as reproduction, death and dying, genetics, new biomedical technologies, global health, and medical research in international settings. For MA students of the NSSR Anthropology department, this seminar fulfills the requirements of a Perspectives course.
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions