Too often, bioethics courses equate bioethics with medical ethics, omitting questions related to the environment and parts of genetics. Even in the latter field, not all dilemmas relate to medicine; let us remember, for example, the ethical dilemmas resulting from the recent introduction of transgenic plants and farm animals.
Fifteen years ago, I began offering a course in bioethics to upperclass majors in biology at Yale University. My colleagues were reluctant to sponsor such a "soft" course in a department dealing with hard science, but they decided to give it a try. It has usually been oversubscribed, and still survives, now being taught by a younger colleague. Since my retirement in 1990, I have also offered a similar course as a College Seminar, and consistently receive about 75 applications for the 18 places available. Most of the students are preparing for careers in medicine and public health, but potential lawyers,...
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