Einstein-Cardozo Bioethics Graduate Education

Bioethics Courses Through Einstein College of Medicine

Semester-Long Seminars

Bioethics and Medical Humanities I and II 

Brave New World: Bioethics in Literature and Film 

Empathy in Theory and Practice  

Ethical Issues in Reproductive Medicine 

Ethical Issues in HIV Testing, Treatment and Research 

Ethical Issues in Pediatrics 

Gender, Sexual Orientation, Law and Medicine 

Human Subjects Research 

Medical Narratives 

Public Health Ethics 

Ways of Seeing: Healthcare and Ethics 

Reproductive Ethics and the Law 

Pharmaceutical Ethics 

Philosophical Perspectives on Bioethics and Autonomy 

Religion and Bioethics 

Independent Research Options

Bioethics Independent Research 

Bioethics Independent Practicum 

Bioethics Independent Course 

Thesis/Capstone Project 

Intensives

Bioethics Mediation 

Bioethics Consultation Skills 

Jewish Medical Ethics 

Narrative Ethics and Bioethics 

Institutional Policy Writing 

 
 

Seminars

BIOE 5101 and 5102
Bioethics and Medical Humanitites I and II

Instructors: Gina Campelia, Lauren Flicker, Danielle Spencer, and Tia Powell
Credit: 6

Description:This year-long course can be taken independently to earn a Certificate and/or as required coursework for the Master of Science in Bioethics. Faculty collaborate with students in a combination of two retreats and weekly seminars to offer an intellectually rich year introducing the foundations of bioethics as a field, key principles in moral theory, methods of legal and literary analysis, and the skills necessary to apply the insights of bioethics in our daily practice and research. We examine core bioethics issues using a multiplicity of perspectives and draw upon the depth of expertise not only of faculty but also of our participants, many of whom bring years of clinical, legal and other professional experience to the program.
Prerequisites: none.

 
 
 

BIOE 5302
Ethical Issues in HIV Testing, Treatment and Research

Instructor: Ethan Cowan
Credit: 1

DESCRIPTION: This seminar examines ethical controversies surrounding the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the early twenty-first century. It covers both domestic and international issues. The seminar is divided into several parts. Part I, HIV Testing, covers the controversies surrounding HIV testing and the evolution of HIV testing models from Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) to the current recommendations for opt-out provider initiated testing. Part II, HIV Treatment, provides an introduction to human rights discourse as it relates to access to HIV treatment. The first session of Part II will cover general topics of human rights and HIV treatment. The second session will focus on global inequalities in HIV treatment. Part III, HIV research, will focus on ethical considerations surrounding HIV research in developing nations. The second session will focus on unique ethical issues with HIV prevention research. Class sessions are scheduled for two hours. All courses will be taught in seminar fashion. The majority of the class will be dedicated to analysis and discussion of the readings and case studies pertinent to the topic being covered.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

BIOE 5310
Ethical Issues in Pediatrics

Instructors: Alan Fleischman
Credit: 2

Description: The course will focus on ethical issues as they relate to children. Beginning with an exploration of what it means to be a child in America and the unique kinship relationships and obligations engendered by the decision to have a child, the course will focus on ethical issues in labor, delivery, and neonatal care, current controversies in caring for a dying child and his family, ethical issues concerning adolescents, research ethics as it relates to children, and issues about surgical and medical enhancement of children. Students will be expected to read assigned materials and be prepared to discuss relevant ethical questions during each session. Each student will choose a relevant topic of interest and develop a 3000-5000 word essay that will describe the issue and elucidate the ethical concerns utilizing and citing peer reviewed literature.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

BIOE 5303
Gender, Sexual Orientation, Law and Medicine

Instructors: Ed Stein and Tia Powell
Credit: 2

Description: This course looks at sexual orientation and gender through a broad array of lenses, including legal and medical texts and fiction. We will address the ways that understanding of these issues has evolved over time and across cultures. The class will consider the role and changing nature of medical views of these issues as well as constitutional and statutory matters.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

  

BIOE 5305
Human Subjects Research

Instructors: Elizabeth Kitsis
Credit: 2

Description: This course will begin with a history of medical research, including research into biological warfare by the US, Germany and Japan during the Second World War. We will track the involvement of medicine in ethically questionable research activities and then focus on the development of the federal regulations governing research with human subjects. The course will examine such topics as informed consent, the risk-benefit ratio and confidentiality. We will address research with vulnerable subjects, including children, prisoners and adults without decision-making capacity. We will examine the interaction between race, class and human subjects research. We will review topics of current ethical and regulatory interest, reviewing recent and proposed changes in federal regulations. Some weekly seminars will feature presentations from visiting scholars and officials who are nationally recognized leaders in the field of human subjects research.
Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.

 
 

BIOE 5306
Pharmaceutical Ethics

Instructor: Elizabeth Kitsis
Credit: 2

Description: The pharmaceutical industry is under intense scrutiny by medical journals, regulators, and the lay public. Yet drug companies have translated scientific discoveries into products that have improved and extended the lives of millions of people. This course will familiarize students with the drug development process, and examine the factors that have contributed to the commercial successes and failures of drug companies. With this information as a backdrop, the course will then focus on the multiple ethical issues that arise in commercial drug development, including the promotion of unapproved uses of drugs, ghostwriting, the medicalization of conditions to expand markets, and conflicts of interest.
Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.

 
 

BIOE 5307
Religion and Bioethics

Instructor: Tia Powell
Credit: 2

Description: This course explores how religious beliefs and practices influence the delivery of health care, from the perspectives of both the patient and physician. We review various faith traditions, specifically looking at how issues such as end-of-life care, refusal of medical treatment, abortion, assisted reproduction and other medical decisions are shaped by different religious traditions. The course explores how religious doctrine impacts medical decision-making at the patient level, as well as how legal/ethical issues sometimes encroach on patient autonomy (especially in the case of minors). It also investigates the ethical obligations of religious hospitals and the larger health care system in addressing issues of faith for patients and/or providers. Finally, the course examines how physicians balance their professional obligations and religious beliefs, by investigating, among other examples, whether it is appropriate for doctors to join with patients and/or their families in prayer.
Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.

 
 

BIOE 5308
Empathy in Theory and Practice

Instructor: Gina Campelia
Credit: 2

Description: The goal of this course is to investigate the meaning of empathy and its application in the medical field and care work more generally. We will be exploring the concept of empathy through philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science. We will cover the genealogical development of the concept with an eye towards understanding and problematizing its increasing popularity in the applied sciences, social sciences, and in the field of medicine.

 
 
 

BIOE 5311
Philosophical Perspectives on Bioethics and Autonomy

Instructor: Campelia
Credit: 2

Description: This course will investigate some of the foundational philosophical perspectives on bioethics. We willcover four major ethical theories (deontology, utilitarianism, virtue theory, and care theory) andunderstand them through contemporary issues in bioethics. We will focus a substantial amount of ourattention on the principles and issues surrounding the concept of autonomy. We will read somefoundational work in philosophy (including Kant’s Metaphysic of Morals and Aristotle’sNicomachean Ethics), some contemporary work in philosophy (including Nedelsky’s Law’s Relationsand Hursthouse’s “Virtue Theory and Abortion”), and a variety of work on specific issues and cases inbioethics. There are no prerequisites for this course.

 
 

BIOE 5312
Medical Narratives

Instructor: Spencer
Credit: 2

Description: Narratives about illness, disability and caregiving have emerged as a significant genre since the late 20thcentury. Literary, filmic and theatrical memoirs by patients and clinicians about personalexperiences join anecdotal accounts in bioethics and public health. What is the historical contextfor such narratives, and how have they developed in recent years? How does the evolution of thegenre reflect and inform the practice of healthcare and its social context? How do differentnarrative perspectives deepen our understanding of bioethics? This seminar will explore thebreadth of works in this field, including first-person accounts by clinicians and patients, as well ascritical essays about the role and status of memoir and narrative. We will investigate therelationship between these works and notions of autonomy, empathy and intersubjectivity. Someseminars will feature presentations and discussion with writers, artists and clinicians who willenrich our understanding of medical narratives.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

 
 

BIOE 5313
Public Health Ethics

Instructor: Cowan and Macklin
Credit: 2

Description: This course explores the many respects in which public health actions and policies have ethical dimensions. The course addresses topics in both public health practice and public health research. Topics in public health practice include an exploration of governmental paternalism and when is justified, such as laws mandating the use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets; justifications for limiting individual liberty that arise in infectious disease practices like isolation, quarantine, and directly observed therapy; ethical problems in allocating limited resources in outbreaks or epidemics; controversies over various efforts at health promotion, such as prohibiting smoking in parks and other outdoor sites, and limiting the size of sugary soft drinks; and the role of federal regulatory agencies in protecting the health of the public. Topics in public health research include distinguishing between public health research and public health practice; when it is necessary to obtain informed consent and when it is not; ethical issues in conducting research in disasters and emergencies; when privacy and confidentiality may be breached in the interest of public health. Readings will be assigned in two categories: required and recommended. The format is interactive, seminar style, and includes cases and exercises for discussion in class.  Students are expected to do all of the required readings and encouraged to do at least some of the recommended readings.  Students are expected to contribute to class discussion based on the readings.
Prerequisites: Certificate program orinstructorpermission.

 
 

BIOE 5314
Ways of Seeing: Healthcare and Ethics

Instructor: Spencer
Credit: 2

Description: The course will use visuality as a theme to explore embodiment, power and perspective in medical practice. We will study different models of vision from ancient thought through the enlightenment and up to the present. We will also read works on the role of sight in medical practice; the evolution of contemporary imaging techniques, and memoirs about the experience of vision loss. In addition, we will conduct “field observations” in clinical settings, investigating the role of vision as it exemplifies relations of power and knowledge. We will thus use vision as a lens ---both literal and figurative --- to explore social relations and medical ethics.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

BIOE 5315
Reproductive Ethics and the Law

Instructor: Flicker
Credit: 2

Description: This course will explore legal and ethical issues raised by reproduction and the use of assisted reproductive technologies. We will study legal theory and practice involving contraception, assisted reproduction, abortion, sterilization, and personhood. We will approach these topics using a wide range of sources, including legal cases, historical scholarship, and bioethics literature. Grades will be determined by class participation and a final paper.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

BIOE 5316
Brave New World: Bioethics in Literature and Film

Instructor: Spencer
Credit: 2

Description: What do Chekhov and Dr. House have in common? Why did Huxley’s 1932 novel Brave New World so uncannily anticipate the dilemmas of our era? What can we learn from the way certain stories have been told and re-told over time? How have our cultural views of genetic engineering, social conditioning, organ transplantation, plague and contagion, fetal research and utilitarian ethics changed — or have they? From 1930s cinema to Gattaca, from Tom Hanks in Philadelphia to documentary reportage, from Margaret Atwood to tales of contemporary transnational surrogacy, from Tolstoy to E.R., from zombies to Artificial Intelligence — in this seminar we will investigate bioethics in literature, film and television, with reference to critical essays and with an emphasis on dynamic classroom discussion and debate.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

 
 

BIOE 5317
Organ Transplantation

Instructor: Hoffman
Credit: 2

Description: Like most advances in medical technology the advent of organ transplantation has produced both anticipated, and unanticipated, benefits and dilemmas. This course will explore the clinical and ethical history of organ donation and transplantation, as well as the ethical challenges society will face as we contemplate ways to expand the availability of transplantable organs. Topics will include: the relevance of death; appropriate criteria for determining death, the importance of respecting the decisions of donors for donation after death, the moral justification for the presumption against donation and the risk of reversing that presumption, and scientific alternatives to transplantation, among other topics. While this will not be a course on the law of organ transplantation, we will cover the federal acts that created the US transplant system and the regulation of the regional Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO) and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Readings will include scholarly papers from the bioethics and medical literature, American and international practice standards and regulations, codes of ethics for organ and tissue transplantation, narrative accounts of the experiences of individual donors and recipients, and reports in the lay press that describe and define public perceptions of the transplant system. Classes will be conducted utilizing the Socratic method. Grading will be based on class participation, including role-play exercises, and a paper on the ethical future of the transplant industry.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

Independent Study Options

BIOE 5901
Bioethics Independent Research

Instructor: TBD
Credit: 1-2

Description: This course provides an opportunity for fully matriculated MBE students to design and carry out a semester-long research project, under the supervision of a faculty advisor, with the intent to present work at a regional, national or international meeting and/or for publication. As with all independent studies, the student needs to choose a faculty member to help devise the project and then have the proposal approved by the Center. Click here for details and application.

 
 

BIOE 5902
Bioethics Independent Practicum

Instructor: TBD
Credit: 1-2

Description: This course provides an opportunity for fully matriculated MBE students to design and carry out a semester-long practice-based academic project, under the supervision of a faculty advisor, with some preliminary reading on method of practice (e.g. scholarship on consultation or pedagogy) and writing submitted by term’s end. As with all independent studies, the student needs to choose a faculty member to help devise the project and then have the proposal approved by the Center.
Click here for details and application.

 
 

BIOE 5903
Bioethics Independent Course

Instructor: TBD
Credit: 1-2

Description: This course provides an opportunity for fully matriculated MBE students to design and participate in a semester-long, seminar-style independent study, under the supervision of a faculty advisor, with significant reading and writing to be completed. As with all independent studies, the student needs to choose a faculty member to help devise the project and then have the proposal approved by the Center.
Click here for details and application.

 
 

BIOE 5400
Capstone/Thesis Project

Instructor: TBD
Credit: 2-4

Description: This course is a fundamental requirement for the masters degree. It consists of the post-proposal research, practice, writing and revision for an extended project, under the guidance of an advisor in the relevant field, selected from the faculty of Cardozo, Einstein or Yeshiva. A student may register for all 4 credits in one semester, or for 2 credits each in two consecutive semesters.
Click here for details and application.

 
 

Intensives

BIOE 5200
Bioethics Mediation (Intensive)

Instructors: Nancy Dubler, Carol Liebman, and Tia Powell
Credit: 2

Description: This four-day course is taught by the natiaonal leaders in bioethics mediation. Mediation is a vital tool in the management and resolution of conflicts between and among health care staff and families. Mediation helps all parties to articulate their values and acknowledges the perspectives of all participants. The course covers essential techniques and procedures in lectures, exercises, small group role-plays and intensive individual feedback. Topics covered include: mediation skills, stages of bioethics mediation, special challenges, and how to write a chart note. Attendance at all four days of the course is required.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.
 

 
 

BIOE 5201
Bioethics Consultation Skills

Instructors: Hannah I. Lipman, Elizabeth Kitsis, and Tia Powell
Credit: 2

Description: Drawing upon the decades of experience of Montefiore’s Bioethics Consultation service, the faculty of the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics will cover selected topics from the ASBH's Core Competencies. The course will help students develop communication skills, master the process of bioethics consultation and gain practical experience in approaching ethical dilemmas in clinical medicine. Note that this course is designed for those currently serving on a hospital ethics committee or in a consultation service or with a background in bioethics and seeking clinical training. It may be taken on its own or as part of the Masters Program.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

BIOE 5203
Jewish Medical Ethics

Instructor: Edward Reichman
Credit: 2

Description: Judaism is one of the world’s oldest religions with a rich heritage and an expansive legal literary tradition dating back to the times of the Bible and Talmud. Judaism has a unique approach to medical ethical dilemmas that can contribute to modern ethical discourse. This course will provide students with a basic introduction to the principles of Jewish law as they relate to medical ethics. These principles will then be applied to issues in contemporary medical ethics ranging from beginning of life to end of life. Topics analyzed will include abortion, contraception, infertility, genetics, cloning, organ transplantation, the definition of death, autopsy and stem cell research. In addition, new frontiers in science and medicine will be explored through the lens of Jewish law. The contribution of principles of Jewish medical ethics to the broader dialogue of modern bioethics will be discussed. Readings will be drawn from ancient rabbinic texts, as well as modern authors on Jewish bioethics. Emphasis will be placed on textual analysis of primary and secondary sources (in English translation) culled from over two thousand years of rabbinic literature.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

BIOE 5204
Narrative Ethics and Bioethics

Instructors: Previously offered
Credit: 2

Description: The course will introduce students to the fields of narrative ethics, narrative medicine, and narrative bioethics. They will become well-versed in the ethics of reading, the ethics of writing, and the power both practices have to affect decision-making and care.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

 
 

BIOE 5205
Institutional Policy Writing

Instructor: Flicker
Credit: 2

Description: In this intensive, students will learn about the ethical, legal, and administrative considerations that go into the writing of an institutional policy. Through lectures, readings, and discussions, the class will study the philosophical and historical backgrounds of policies, and analyze policies from hospitals across the country. In the last two days of class, students will break into small groups to develop their own policies; at the end of this period the class will come together as an ethics committee to debate the merits of each policy.
Prerequisites: Certificate program or instructor permission.

News & Events

Dr. Tia Powell was recently named one of nine new 2014 Hastings Center Fellows. The Fellows are an elected association of researchers from around the world whose distinguished contributions in their fields have been influential in bioethics.

Applications are being accepted for Fall 2014
Start or complete an application >> 

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