Friday, May 20, 2011

What is bioethics?

Today we started our last unit of the year, using the NIH's bioethics curriculum. At the end of the fall term we used the NIH's Drugs, Brain and Behavior curriculum and had lots of thought provoking discussions; I suspect this unit we be the same.

Our goal for today was to define 'ethics' and assess the difference between ethical, legal and scientific questions. We ended class today discussing the case of Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who uses cheetah legs to run, addressing such questions as:
• Should the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF)
allow Oscar Pistorius to compete?
• Should artiļ¬cial limbs be permitted in organized sports competitions?
• Should Pistorius be allowed to compete in the Olympics?
• What alterations to the human body create an unfair advantage?

Below is a clip of Pistorius at the Bejing Paraolympics in the 100 meter dash.

Homework: On Monday you will have a short (10-15) question quiz on genetics. The questions and answers will be posted on the blog at the end of the day so you can check your work. It's never too early to start studying, so go!

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