HPSC1000 & HPSC1900 (advanced) - Bioethics

Semester 1 2013
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Prerequisites: None
6 credit points
Three lectures (3x 1-hour ) plus one tutorial (1x 1-hour) per week
(see timetable)
Assessment: tutorial work and participation, essays.

Science: Infinite Possibilities? No Limits?

Science: Infinite Problems and Ethical Dilemmas!!


Science has given us nearly infinite possibilities for controlling life. Scientists probe the origins of life through research with stem cells and embryos. To unlock the secrets of disease, biomedicine conduct cruel experiments on animals. GM crops are sold as the answer to hunger. Organ transplantation is almost routine. The international traffic in human body parts and tissues is thriving. The concept of brain death makes harvesting organs ethically more acceptable. It may also result in fundamental changes in our ideas about life.

Science has provided new ways of controlling and manipulating life and death. As a consequence, difficult ethical questions are raised in increasingly complex cultural and social environments. If you want to develop a critical perspective on today’s science and its place in society, this is the unit of study for you!

In This Unit of Study We Will Discuss:

  • Science and Social Responsibility
  • Animal Experimentation
  • When do we Die? Brain-death and New Definitions of Death
  • The Trade in Human Organs and Tissues
  • Embryo and Stem Cell Research
  • Designer Babies

This junior unit of study is highly recommended to Intermediate and Senior Life Science students