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Course Summary (This is an honors class)

Are you prepared for a brave new world? Some say that the age that will come after the information age will be known as the age of biology. Already, we hear about euthanasia, stem cells, genes, genomes, and health care in the news almost nightly. The ethical issues that accompany these new technologies force us to reexamine what words like “humanity”, “person”, “respect”’, “fair”, “justice”, and “benefit” mean.

This is a survey course covering various contemporary topics in bioethics, focusing on issues encountered in biomedicine, genetics and research. Areas to be studied include assisted reproductive technology, end-of-life decision making, gene therapy, genetically modified organism, stem cells and animal and human research. We will examine these issues from many sides, weighing the reasons people have for believing them with a mind towards forming a well-supported position and creating a brave new world in which we can all live in the age of biology.

Course objectives

  • Recognize the interrelationship among science, society, and ethical considerations.
  • Recognize the importance of scientific knowledge in bioethical decision making.
  • Develop critical-reasoning skills, especially the ability to justify an ethical position.
  • Participate in respectful dialogue among individuals with global perspectives.



Course Dates

VHS courses follow an academic calendar and run for 15 weeks:

Fall 2017
Sept 6th – December 19th, 2017

Spring 2018
January 24th – May 8th, 2018


  • Successful completion of a full year of high school biology or equivalent.

Additional Requirements

  • Students will need a headset with microphone. Students will need to access a number of YouTube videos throughout the course. Click here to view the course syllabus.

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Duration 15 w
Level Beginner
Start Date Spring 2017

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