24.06J | Spring 2009 | Undergraduate



Ending life
L1 Introduction to the course  
L2 From euthanasia to assisted suicide

Emanuel, Ezekiel J. “The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain.” Annals of Internal Medicine 121, no. 10 (1994): 793-802.

“Euthanasia—Degenerated Sympathy.” Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 154, no. 12 (1906): 330-331. (PDF)

Quill, Timothy. “Death and Dignity: A Case of Individualized Decision Making.” New England Journal of Medicine 324, no. 10 (1991): 691-694.

L3 Killing for the greater good I Rachels, James. “Active and Passive Euthanasia.” New England Journal of Medicine 292, no. 2 (1975): 78-80.
L4 Killing for the greater good II

Nesbitt, Winston. “Is Killing No Worse Than Letting Die?Journal of Applied Philosophy 12, no. 1 (1995): 101-106.

Kuhse, Helga. “Critical Notice: Why Killing is Not Always Worse—and is Sometimes Better—Than Letting Die.” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7, no. 4 (1998): 371-374.

L5 Withdrawal of life support

Reiser, Stanley J. “The Intensive Care Unit: The Unfolding Ambiguities of Survival Therapy.” International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 8, no. 3 (1992): 382-394.

Lock, Margaret. “Technology in Extremis.” In Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001, pp. 57-75. ISBN: 9780520228146.

Kaufman, Sharon. “Life Support.” Chapter 7 in And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780226426853. (Read pp. 236-255, 259-265.)

Beginning life
L6 Neonatal dilemmas

Baker, Jeffrey P. “The Incubator Controversy: Pediatricians and the Origins of Premature Infant Technology in the United States, 1890-1910.” Pediatrics 87, no. 5 (1991): 654-662.

Stinson, Robert, and Peggy Stinson. “On the Death of a Baby.” Atlantic Monthly 244 (1979): 64-72.

Singer, Peter, and Helga Kuhse. “The Future of Baby Doe.” The New York Review of Books 31, no. 3 (1984): 17-22.

L7 Are people organisms? Olson, Eric. “An Argument for Animalism.” Chapter 12 in Personal Identity. Edited by Raymond Martin and John Barresi. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2002. ISBN: 9780631234425.
L8 The ethics of abortion I

Tooley, Michael. “Abortion and Infanticide.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 2, no. 1 (1972): 37-65.

Marquis, Don. “Why Abortion is Immoral.” The Journal of Philosophy 86, no. 4 (1989): 183-202.

L9 History and abortion

Reagan, Leslie J. “‘About to Meet Her Maker’: Women, Doctors, Dying Declarations, and the State’s Investigation of Abortion, Chicago, 1867-1940.” Journal of American History 77, no. 4 (1991): 1240-1264.

Alta Charo, L. “The Celestial Fire of Conscience—Refusing to Deliver Medical Care.” New England Journal of Medicine 352, no. 24 (2005): 2471-2473.

L10 The ethics of abortion II Thomson, Judith Jarvis. “A Defense of Abortion.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1, no. 1 (1971): 47-66.
L11 Obligations of pregnancy

Oaks, Laury. “The New Rules of Pregnancy.” Chapter 2 in Smoking and Pregnancy: The Politics of Fetal Protection. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780813528885. (Read pp. 19-24, 38-52.)

Harris, Lisa H., and Lynn Paltrow. “The Status of Pregnant Women and Fetuses in U.S. Criminal Law.” JAMA 289 (2003): 1697-1699.

Roots, Kimberly. “A Better Pill to Swallow?Science and Spirit, Critical Mass, July-August (2005).

Optimizing life
L12 Procreation and future people I Parfit, Derek. “The Non-Identity Problem.” Chapter 16 in Reasons and Persons. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 351-380. ISBN: 9780198249085.
L13 Procreation and future people II Parfit, Derek. “The Repugnant Conclusion.” Chapter 17 in Reasons and Persons. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 381-390. ISBN: 9780198249085.
L14 Eugenics and its legacies

Kevles, Daniel J. “International Eugenics.” In Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race. Edited by Dieter Kuntz and Susan Bachrach. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780807829165.

Guterman, Lila. “Choosing Eugenics: How Far Will Nations Go to Eliminate a Genetic Disease?” Chronicle of Higher Education 49, no. 34 (2003): A22-A26.

L15 Genetic engineering

Rogers, Michael. “The Pandora’s Box Congress.” Rolling Stone (June 19, 1975): 37-40, 42, 74, 77-78, and 82.

Rifkin, Jeremy. “Ultimate Therapy: Commercial Eugenics in the 21st Century.” Harvard International Review 27 (2005): 44-48.

L16 Slippery slopes den Hartogh, Govert. “The Slippery Slope Argument.” Chapter 28 in A Companion to Bioethics. 2nd edition. Edited by Peter Singer and Helga Kuhse. New York, NY: Blackwell Publishing, 2009. ISBN: 9781405163316.
L17 Enhancing or cheating

Elliot, Carl. Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2003. ISBN: 9780393052015. (Read pp. xv-xxi, 28-34, 50-53, and 119-128.)

Sandel, Michael J. “Bionic Athletes.” Chapter 2 in The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780674036383.

Deardorff, Julie. “Revving Up the Brain.” Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2004. 

Greely, Henry, Barbara Sahakian, John Harris, Ronald C. Kessler, Michael Gazzaniga, Philip Campbell, and Martha J. Farah. “Towards Responsible Use of Cognitive-enhancing Drugs by the Healthy.” Nature 465 (2008): 702-705. (PDF)

Talbot, Margaret. “Brain Gain.” The New Yorker, April 27, 2009.

Valuing life
L18 The political economy of organs

Annas, George J. “The Prostitute, the Playboy, and the Poet: Rationing Schemes for Organ Transplantation.” American Journal of Public Health 72, no. 2 (1985): 187-189.

Steinbrock, Robert. “Public Solicitation of Organ Donors.” New England Journal of Medicine 353, no. 5 (2005): 441-444.

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. “The Global Traffic in Human Organs.” Current Anthropology 41, no. 2 (2000): 191-211.

L19 Valuing lives I Mill, John Stuart. “General Remarks,” and “What Utilitarianism Is.” Chapters 1 and 2 in Utilitarianism, 1863.
L20 Valuing lives II Mill, John Stuart. “Of the Ultimate Sanction of the Principle of Utility,” and “Of What Sort of Proof the Principle of Utility is Susceptible.” Chapters 3 and 4 in Utilitarianism, 1863.
L21 Rationing health care

Ubel, Peter A. “The Necessity of Rationing Health Care.” In Contemporary Issues in Bioethics. 7th ed. Edited by Tom L. Beauchamp, LeRoy Walters, Jeffrey P. Kahn, and Anna C. Mastroianni. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2007. ISBN: 9780495006732.

Steinbrock, Robert. “Saying No Isn’t NICE—The Travails of Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.” New England Journal of Medicine 359, no. 19 (2008): 1977-1981.

L22 Valuing lives III Harris, John. “The Value of Life.” In The Value of Life. New York, NY: Routledge, 1985, pp. 87-102. ISBN: 9780710204370.
Regulating life
L23 Public health vs. individual rights?

Colgrove, James, and Ronald Bayer. “Manifold Restraints: Liberty, Public Health, and the Legacy of Jabobson v Massachusetts.” American Journal of Public Health 95, no. 4 (2005): 571-576.

Fairchild, Amy L. “Diabetes and Disease Surveillance.” Science 313, no. 5784 (2006): 175-176.

Fritz, Mark. “A Doctor’s Fight: More Forced Care for the Mentally Ill.” Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2006.

L24 Public health and individual responsibility

Knowles, John H. “The Responsibility of the Individual.” Daedalus 106 (1977): 57-80.

Parloff, Roger. “Is Fat the Next Tobacco? For Big Food, The Supersizing of America is Becoming a Big Headache.” Fortune, February 3, 2003, 52-54.

Bishop, Gene, and Amy C. Brodkey. “Personal Responsibility and Physician Responsibility—West Virginia’s Medicaid Plan.” New England Journal of Medicine 355, no. 8 (2006): 756-758.

Ulene, Valerie. “Let Real Healthcare Reform Begin with Me.” The Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2009.

Mello, Michelle M. “New York City’s War on Fat.” The New England Journal of Medicine 360, no. 19 (2009): 2015-2020.

Pearson, Steven, and Sarah Lieber. “Financial Penalties for the Unhealthy? Ethical Guidelines for Holding Employees Responsible for their Health.” Health Affairs 28, no. 3 (2009): 845-852.

L25 Self binding  
L26 Conclusions  

Course Info

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