Graduate Bioethics Program Catalog

Students start the Bioethics Program in the summer, with an intense, one-week seminar where students meet the faculty and their fellow students. View course descriptions in our catalog below.
Get a guide to what every prospective student needs to know about Bioethics.

BIE 500 - Proseminar in Health and Human Values

Summer (one week in Summer), On-site, Clarkson University Capital Region Campus with Clinical Visit to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (NYC)
Baker, Rhodes, Philpott
An intensive 8 day introduction to current topics in clinical ethics and bioethics, taught seminar style at Clarkson University's Capital Region Campus, with a clinical visit toIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. This overview of current issues in bioethics humanities involves four special pro-seminars, case conferences and ethics rounds. There will also be training in the computer skills (demonstrations, workshops) essential to mastering distance learning. Must be taken in the first fifteen months of enrollment.

BIE 510 - Biomedical Ethics

FALL, Distance Learning
Schwab
An advanced historically-based introduction to bioethics and clinical ethics focusing on such formalizations of medical morality as the Hippocratic Oath, the AMA codes, the Belmont Report and Beauchamp and Childress Principles, and the idea of casuistry. Major cases in bioethics will also be reviewed and the evolution of the core concepts and infrastructure of medical ethics and bioethics will be examined.

BIE 520 - Healthcare Policy

WINTER, Distance Learning
Strosberg
This course provides an understanding of the public policy-making process and the political and regulatory environment in which health care organizations function. It also provides an understanding of managerial processes, politics, and structure of the health care organizations where ethical policies and practices are implemented and carried out on an ongoing basis. Policies for consideration include resource allocation, end-of-life decision-making, accountability and performance measurement, and conflict-of-interest.

BIE 525 - Public Health Ethics (required for Policy Track) (elective for Clinical & Reserach Tracks)

Winter, Distance Learning
Bloom
(Elective for Clinical Ethics and Research Ethics Specializations, required for Policy specialization, Required for Policy.) In this course, students learn about ethics and public health, and the ways in which these two fields interconnect. The course focuses on ethical theory and the discipline and history of public health, using case studies to illustrate the application of ethical theory to public health practice. (Online, Winter)

BIE 530 - Bioethics and the Law

Spring, Distance Learning
Parent
This course provides an introduction to the major legal issues and concepts arising in the field of bioethics. Emphasis will be placed on (1) mastery of key legal concepts and rules that pertain to bioethics (i.e., what the law is) and (2) demonstration of ability to critically analyze the law from a normative bioethical perspective (i.e., argue for what the law ought to be).

BIE 533 - Neuro Ethics: (elective)

Spring, Distance Learning
Gligorov
(1/2 course elective) The course will aim to familiarize the students with the most pertinent issues in Neuroethics, but will emphasize those issues which have some immediate application in clinical settings, such as criteria for brain death, the ethics of enhancement, and justification of memory manipulation. The overall objective of the course is to demonstrate continuity between neuroethics and other areas of bioethics, and to identify the application of major ethical principles to this new branch of ethics. (Online, Even Spring)

BIE 535 - Medicine and Social Justice (required for Policy Track) (elective for Clinical & Reserach Tracks)

Fall, Distance Learning
Rhodes
(Required for Policy specialization, Elective for Clinical Ethics and Research Ethics Specialization) This course examines issues of social justice in medicine, beginning with a review of classical (Aristotle) and contemporary (Rawls) works on political philosophy, ethics and justice. Students will also read some of theoretical work of authors who focus their attention on justice in medicine (including Daniels and Menzel). Building of these philosophic underpinnings, students will then explore the issues that lie at the heart of justice in medicine: the right to health and health care, aggregation and utility, personal responsibility, prioritarianism, and the allocation of medical resources.

BIE 543 - Jewish Bioethics (elective)

Spring, Distance Learning
Zohar
(1/2 course elective) The first part of this course aims to explain the scope and nature of "Jewish Bioethics", presented in the broader context of the Jewish tradition of normative discourse. Employing specific examples with relevance to contemporary bioethical issues, the contours of that tradition will be traced from the Bible through Talmudic and medieval texts to modern works. We will then illustrate the content and workings of Jewish Bioethics through two fields in which its teachings are particularly distinct, related in different ways to the fundamental belief that humans are created in the Divine Image: (a) Beginning of life (including the status of the embryo, assisted reproduction and stem cells, with a special emphasis on questions of gender) and (b) End of life (including the tradition's powerful emphasis on saving and extending life, the debate over "brain death", and cadaver organ transplantation). (Online, when available)

BIE 545 - Reproductive Ethics (elective)

Summer, Distance Learning (even summers)
Steinbock
(6 weeks; full 3 master’s credits, All Specializations) The course examines the philosophical, ethical, and legal problems arising from assisted reproductive technologies. We begin with the notion of procreative liberty. Procreative liberty is conceived as the right to make one’s own reproductive decisions, whether to have or to avoid having offspring. We will not be discussing the right to avoid reproduction by contraception or abortion, as these topics would require a longer course, or even a course of its own. Instead, this course focuses on the right to reproduce: its nature, scope, and limits.

BIE 555 - Research Ethics (Required for Research Ethics Track)(elective for Clinical & Policy)

Fall, Distance Learning
Gligorov
This course is designed to teach students about the ethics of scientific research, particularly research involving human participants. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to: (a) discuss in depth the principles of bioethics and how these principles should be applied to the ethical design and conduct of research involving human participants or animal subjects; (b) identify, define, and analyze ethical issues in the context of novel and potentially problematic areas of scientific research; (c) identify, through case studies, ethical issues that arise in different contexts and begin to reason through an appropriate course of action. In addition, students will be taught basic practical skills in research, writing and reviewing articles, and providing training and education in bioethics

BIE 563 - Pediatric Ethics (elective)

Spring, Distance Learning
Cummins
(1/2 course elective) In this course we will cover standards for surrogate decision making for children, ethical issues with respect to very premature neonates, withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining care, genetic testing and screening, and adolescent confidentiality, truth-telling, and decision making. This course will include guest participation by members of the Icahn School of Medicine faculty, including experts in neonatology, adolescent health, genetics, and pediatric oncology. (Online, Even Spring)

BIE 566 - Foundations of Empirical Bioethics (elective)

online: Even Fall
Oppenlander
This course covers the basic process and methods encountered in conducting empirical research in bioethics. A key objective is to develop an understanding of commonly encountered study designs and statistical methods needed to understand published empirical literature in bioethics and healthcare. The course focuses on developing skills to critically evaluate the quality and applicability of empirical research studies. Foundations of Empirical Bioethics course is targeted for those students with limited background in statistics.

BIE 567 - Survey Research Methods (elective)

online: Even Fall
Oppenlander
This course will cover the survey research process including planning, design, execution, and analysis. Careful construction of questions is essential to eliciting information from human subjects that will meet the objectives of research studies. Good practices in questionnaire construction a nd survey execution that will lead to the efficient collection of high quality data are covered. The course will focus on the practical aspects of survey research by developing and executing various types of data collection instruments and analyzing the resulting data.

BIE 568 - Empirical Methods in Health care Policy (elective)

online: Odd Fall
Oppenlander
This course is intended for those students that have prior background in reading empirical literature or in conducting empirical research. Methods will be presented that are more advanced than those found in standard undergraduate statistics courses

BIE 569 - Statistical Methods in Health Care (elective)

online: Odd Fall
Oppenlander
The purpose of this course is to cover statistical topics applicable to healthcare settings, not typically covered in an introductory statistics course. These topics include study designs commonly applied in healthcare, measures of disease frequency and health risk, power ana lysis, and non- parametric statistics.

BIE 570 - Bioethics Policy: Foundations (Required for Policy Track) ( elective for Clinical & Research Tracks)

Fall, Distance Learning
Philpott
(Elective for Clinical Ethics and Research Ethics Specializations, required for Policy specialization.) This course will address prospective rules designed to govern populations and categories of cases. Often, bioethics policies have the force of law (e.g., statute, agency regulation, court precedent); at other times, however, they are voluntarily adopted by institutions or groups (e.g., hospitals, insurers, IRBs, research funders, the AMA). This course focuses on the moral philosophical and behavioral foundations of contemporary bioethics policy and draws on concepts from philosophy, economics, and psychology that are increasingly used in policymaking in both the U.S. and the U.K.

BIE 573 - Interpersonal Skills and Communication (elective)

Spring, Distance Learning (Odd springs)
Tobin-Ballato
(1/2 elective - 5 weeks; All Specializations) This course will provide students with the opportunity to learn the basic components of communication, including active listening, effective vocal style, optim al elicitation of information and the ability to create partnerships with patients, research subjects, families, clinicians and researchers. Using a variety of formats and media, students will develop and practice the interpersonal skills necessary to comm unicate with clinical ethicists, research ethicists, policymakers and in our daily human interactions

BIE 575 - Bioethical Issues at the End of Life (elective)

Summer, Distance learning (odd summers)
Steinbock
(6 weeks; full 3 master’s credits, All Specializations) This course examines some of the philosophical, ethical and policy programs arising at the end of life. It begins with a discussion of death itself, including what it means to say that someone is dead and the criteria for determining that death has occurred. Additional topics covered include advance directives, assisted death and whether or not people have a 'right to die

BIE 580 - Research Ethics II (Required for Research Ethics Track)

Winter, Distance Learning
Philpott
This course teaches students about the ethics and policies governing scientific research, particularly research involving human participants or animal subjects. This course builds upon the knowledge and themes introduced in BIE 555 (Research Ethics I). Research Ethics II covers these topics in greater depth and explores the key US and international laws and policies that regulate the design, conduct, and oversight of trials involving human participants or animal subjects. In addition, students examine in depth specific areas or types of biomedical research that are potentially controversial or ethically problematic. Required for research ethics track, elective for clinical ethics track. Prerequisites: BIE555

BIE 590 - Clinical Ethics (Required for Clinical Ethics track) ( elective for Policy or Research ethics Track)

Fall, Distance Learning
Gligorov
This course deals with the practical applications of clinical ethics, including clinical ethics consulting and its recording and documentation, the work of ethics committees and IRBs, and other practical ethics of clinical ethics.

BIE 610 - Online Clinical Ethics Practicum

Winter, Distance Learning
Fox
A supervised practical experience in clinical ethics designed to teach skills of clinical ethics consultation.This course is designed to help students develop many of the competencies required to perform clinical ethics consultation (CEC) at a basic level. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to: (a) assess their own strengths and weaknesses with respect to CEC competencies; (b) apply a systematic method to analyze and document CEC cases; (c) practice techniques to help avoid common CEC quality gaps; and (d) recognize complex cases for which advanced- level CEC competencies are required. While the course emphasizes process skills for CEC, students will also gain experience that will augment their clinical ethics content knowledge, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking. Prerequisite: BIE 590.

BIE 611 - Online Research Ethics Practicum

SPRING, Distance Learning
Philpott
A supervised practical experience in research ethics designed to teach specific skills. Exposes students to the process of ethical review of research involving human volunteers or animal subjects, and helps students develop some of the basic skills that a working research ethics professional needs. Through online discussion and participatory exercises, students gain a practical understanding of: (a) research ethics committee structure and function, (b) applicable state and federal regulations regarding the conduct of research involving human volunteers or animal subjects, and (c) relevant organizational and management skills needed to lead a research ethics committee. In addition, students are taught practical skills in qualitative and quantitative research, report and grant writing, and bioethical training and education. Prerequisite: BIE580

BIE 612 - Online Policy Practicum

Spring, Distance Learning
Philpott
This course is designed as an opportunity for students to develop and refine the skills of policy analysis that they have learned in prior courses — in particular, in the prerequisites to this course — and to apply them to a range of current issues in bioethics policy. To be as relevant as possible to students with diverse interests and career aspirations in bioethics, the course covers a broad range of policy issues in the bio-sciences, including both public and “private” bioethics policies.

BIE 620 - On-Site Clinical Ethics Practicum

Spring, On-site, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Rhodes
A supervised practical experience in clinical ethics designed to teach skills in clinical ethics consultation. (First week of June, Spring Term) Prerequisite: BIE 610.

BIE 621 - On-Site Research Ethics Practicum

Spring, On-site, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Sacks
A supervised practical experience. Helps students develop and refine the practical skills introduced in BIE 611 (Online Research Ethics Practicum) through hands -on experience. These skills include: teaching and education, review and oversight of institutional research projects involving human volunteers or animal subjects, and sound management of the research endeavor, including organizational management and policy analysis, arbitration, and mediation. (First week of June, Spring Term) Prerequisites: BIE580 Corequisites: BIE611

BIE 630, BIE 635 & BIE 640. Masters Project I , II & III

Fall, Winter & Spring, Distance Learning
Individual Advisors
The masters project in bioethics, research or clinical ethics, will involve three terms of research culminating in a written document addressing some aspect of clinical ethics or bioethical policy, such as a proposal to revise or reform practices at a medical institution or managed care organization, or a proposal to change bioethical policy.

BIE 650 - Capstone

Spring, On-site, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai And Clarkson University Capital Region Campus
Philpott
Capstone practicum in which students demonstrate their mastery of clinical ethics, research ethics, or health policy. Each student presents their Masters Project (One week during Spring Term).



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