Lecture 1

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10 Jan 2011
Bioethics: PHL283
Lecture One: January. 06. 2010
Syllabus Introduction
Office Hours
After class: Tuesdays (3-5pm)
Wednesdays at 1030-11pm
Email: jonathan.peterson@utoronto.ca
Course Requirements
1. Carefully and critically read the assigned texts/articles
2. Two written assignments, midterm tests and a final exam
3. Midterm test—short answer and essay
4. Final Examination35%
The class ID and Enrolment password for TURN IT IN, is found on the syllabus.
What is Bioethics?
Bioethics deals with the policy making of healthcare and health policy.
Bioethics is a question about
a. Fair Distribution of health resources
Lets say that you and your wife has to go through
However, you find out that the government does not pay for this
Ontario, however they do in Manitoba. Is this fair?
Do people have a right, to have healthcare provided by the state?
b. Abortion
A very difficult question within bioethics.
Are there any moral reasons/grounds to say that one can have an
c. Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are where people test certain types of drugs on
Is this ethical?
People who take part in the clinical trials are usually poor, have no
care, ect.
Is it okay to use these people in order to test drugs?
d. Confidentiality
Lets say that you are a physician who discovers that a patient is
HIV positive,
hence they are having unprotected sex with other people. Should
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Bioethics: PHL283
Lecture One: January. 06. 2010
you tell
those partners that their spouse is HIV positive? Or do you keep
e. Refusal of Treatment
Lets say that you are a doctor, and a child comes in. The child needs
a blood
transfusion in order for the child to survive. However the childs
claim that blood transfusion is against their religion. What do you
do? What
is the doctors obligation? Must you respect the religion; or must you
the childs life.
Case Number One: Isabell Dinoiz
In 2005 she received the first partial face transplant. She was a divorced women
living in France. On May 27th 2005 she was at home and took some sleeping pills. It was
told that she was suffering from depression. She ended up passing out. She had a black
Labrador who lived in the house. The dog bit her very severely; and chewed off half of her
face. A majority of her face was gone and bit off. She was seriously disfigured by the animal.
She was treated at the hospital. She ended up wearing a surgical mask over her face in
order to hide her disfigured face. Doctors considered her case, and decided that she was an
excellent candidate for a face transplant. However, she would be the first person to get a
face transplant. This was of experimental nature.
Should Isabella receive the transplant? Is it the right thing to do?
Who gets to decide whether she gets a face transplant or not?
What kinds of things do we take into account when making decisions about this
Concerns associated with the case
1. Risk and benefit concern
+ There is always the risk that the patients body will not accept the
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