Intercultural Bioethics

SLN #: 91886
Course Prefix: LAW-652
Course Section: 001
Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s): Tsosie;McGregor

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to explore cultural issues in bioethics, with a particular emphasis on emerging technologies. The course will evaluate the social, scientific, ethical and legal implications of emerging technologies on humans and our food. Is there something morally wrong with hybridizing species, recombinant genetics, and synthetic biology creating new kinds of things, what some might call “monsters” in the world? If so, what is the nature of the wrong? Are there limits to the kinds of changes that we perpetrate in nature? At what point, does it become a monstrosity? Emerging technologies are shaping the natural world and humans, creating things that never existed before. Are they monstrosities? Some refer to the bio-engineered food-products as “Franken foods” and the people created with genetic technologies as “monsters.” Opponents of these so-called advances have claimed that these creations are “unnatural.” Saying that something is unnatural in this way implies some disruption in the ontology with these creations, defying the barriers of “natural kinds.” Under this view, to change natural things, plants, animals or humans is to perpetuate an evil of some sort. The language of “monsters”, whether in the creation of food stuff or humans, is what Mary Shelley claimed was created by the scientist in her novel Frankenstein. As we are coming up on the bicentennial of Frankenstein, we will use Shelly’s story as a touchstone for this course since it highlights so many of the aspects of our modern predicament. We will consider different cultural narratives about the creation of humans and foods in order to more fully understand the moral dimensions and ultimately what our legal response should be.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 3
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: Yes, With Instructor's Approval*
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes, With Instructor's Approval*
Skills Requirement: No
Note: Only one of the above listed requirements can be fulfilled with this course.
Experiential Learning: No
Special Withdrawal Course: No
Limited Enrollment Number: 10
Final Exam Given: No
Attendance Policy: Per Statement Of Student Policies

* The law school has a policy that Is used To calculate credit hours. Please see the Statement of Student Policies.