Bioethics and Medical Humanities I and II Seminars
Bioethics and Medical Humanities I and II run from September to May, spanning a full two-semester academic year. Each semester begins with an intensive full-day session and then proceeds with weekly seminars.
Fall's full-day session presents a seminal and emblematic case — by way of a clinician's report, an interview transcript, video narration, a set of legal decisions and several articles from philosophy and literature — then helps students understand how the disciplines constituting bioethics each approach the ethics dilemmas that arise.
Our Spring full-day session, credited by many students with markedly changing the way they practice, teaches conflict mediation in the setting of bioethics.
The weekly seminars meet during the semester for three hours, on Wednesdays from 4-7pm, in the Cardozo Law School building (at the corner of 5th Avenue and 12th Street).
We tackle core issues such as end-of-life decision-making, reproductive technologies, research on human subjects, organ transplantation, and access to care for vulnerable populations — each from the perspectives provided by varied disciplinary approaches.
Our law professor guides us through a close reading of court cases, revealing how judicial decisions and legal reasoning shape clinical practice. Our specialist in comparative literature leads us through works of fiction, finding there a lens to focus on issues of power in representation and the central place of narrative in medicine.
We review state and national bioethics health policies with a policy specialist who helped draft them. And throughout, the seminar format encourages lively discussion, through the rigorous analysis of texts and writing closely supervised by faculty.