THR 3560 - Bioethical Dramas
Bioethical Dramas focuses on ethical issues in medicine and their portrayal in popular culture. The central questions explored in this class are: 1. How does the practice of modern medicine impact our lives? and 2. What do portrayals of medical practice in popular culture reveal to us about how we view ourselves and others? Students will gain knowledge of current bioethical issues through the reading of short philosophical texts, case studies, journalistic pieces, experiential theater activities, and the critical analysis of dramatic works in script and film. Readings and other class preparation will facilitate students’ ability to understand and evaluate the impact of the history and current state of medicine and biomedical research on the human condition.
Using theater activities such as improvisation, script writing and character/scene development this course provides a link between knowing “about bioethical issues and their portrayal in current media, and using this knowledge to interrogate these problems, empathize with affected individuals and populations, and envision ethically justifiable resolutions. Issues explored in class may include: withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, physician assisted suicide, reproductive decision-making, the impact of genetic testing on patients, families and society, fair allocation of scarce resources, structural racism and sexism in medicine and medical research, and the stigmatization of overweight, mentally ill and other patients.
Prerequisite(s): Any 1000-level PHL course.