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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2007

T C 357 • Medical Ethics in the Real World

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44735 M
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
CRD 007B

Course Description

This seminar will combine discussion of theoretical issues in medical ethics (such as informed consent, treatment refusal, abortion, confidentiality, assisted suicide and euthanasia, and organ transplantation) with practical problems and actual cases drawn from the consulting experience of the professor and published cases in bioethics and legal literature. Contemporary bioethics, although only about forty years old, has grown and expanded rapidly. The seminar will begin with a discussion of the "birth of bioethics" in the 1960s and quickly move to current controversies. Each class will involve discussions of medical ethics issues in the light of key ethical principles, medical facts, legal rulings, and actual cases.

About the Professor

William J. Winslade teaches in the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch and in the Health Law and Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy (Northwestern), a J.D. (UCLA School of Law), and a Ph.D. in psychoanalysis (Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute). In addition to scholarship in bioethics and law, he writes books and op-ed articles for general readers. He also serves as a medical ethics consultant for attorneys, hospitals, and patients. His hobbies include golf, basketball, running, and hiking. He also enjoys international travel, card games, and puns.

Grading Policy

Each student will prepare a research paper (12-15 pages) on one of the major issues; the paper will be presented in the seminar.

Each student will write one short (5 pages) analytic essay on a key concept in medical ethics or analyze a case illustrating the key concept.


John Arras and Bonnie Steinbock, Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine
William J. Winslade, Confronting Traumatic Brain Injury: Devastation, Hope, and Healing
Supplementary handouts provided by the professor


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