Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Bioethics Minor

Bioethics, Center for
Graduate School
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, N504 Boynton, 410 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-9440; fax: 612-624-9108)
  • Program Type: Graduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits (master's): 8
  • Length of program in credits (doctoral): 14
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
The minor is administered by the Center for Bioethics and is designed for University of Minnesota students interested in deepening their knowledge of the ethical issues surrounding health and the life sciences. Explore your interests in bioethics while also earning a degree in your home discipline. The minor is open to students in many of the University’s master’s or doctoral degree programs. Some professional degree-seeking students also may elect a minor, including MEd, MPH, MHA, MN, DNP, MOT, MPSE, MDH, MDT, and MPS students. To be eligible, the degree program must offer the option to pursue a minor; please consult with your director of graduate studies in your major field to determine if this option is open for you. At this time, students in first-professional programs (JD, MD, PharmD, DVM, DDS, and LLM) are not eligible for minors. Enrollment is contingent upon approval by the director of graduate studies in bioethics. Students work with the director of graduate studies to tailor their minor program to their individual needs and interests.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
Courses must be chosen in consultation with the bioethics director of graduate studies. Philosophy students are expected to have successfully completed at least one course in ethical theory at the 5xxx or 8xxx level prior to undertaking coursework in the minor. Students must complete the minor with a 3.00 GPA.
Bioethics Minor Required Courses
Complete either BTHX 5010 or BTHX 5325, not both.
BTHX 5010 - Bioethics Proseminar (2.0 cr)
or BTHX 5325 - Biomedical Ethics (3.0 cr)
Select one course.
BTHX 5300 - Foundations of Bioethics (3.0 cr)
or PHIL 5320 - Intensive Study of a Historical Moral Theory (3.0 cr)
or PHIL 8310 - Seminar: Moral Philosophy (3.0 cr)
Electives
Doctoral students must also take additional ethics courses to total 14 credits of required plus elective courses; at least 3 credits of the electives must be BTHX courses. Masters students must also take additional credits of ethics courses for a total of 8 credits of required plus elective courses. Any of the following BTHX courses may be taken as electives. The student may take courses offered through other designators only if they have the permission of the bioethics DGS.
BTHX 5000 - Topics in Bioethics (1.0-4.0 cr)
or BTHX 5100 - Introduction to Clinical Ethics (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5110 - Ethical Issues in Pediatrics (2.0 cr)
or BTHX 5120 - Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture (2.0 cr)
or BTHX 5210 - Ethics of Human Subjects Research (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5400 - Intro Ethics in Hlth Policy (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5411 - Health Law and Policy (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5453 - Law, Biomedicine, and Bioethics (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5510 - Gender and the Politics of Health (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5520 - Social Justice and Bioethics (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5540 - Bioethics, Psychiatry & Psychology (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5610 - Research & Publication Seminar (1.0 cr)
or BTHX 5620 - Social Context of Health and Illness (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5630 - Bioethics Colloqium (1.0 cr)
or BTHX 5650 - Disability Ethics (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 5900 - Independent Study in Bioethics (1.0-4.0 cr)
or BTHX 8000 - Advanced Topics in Bioethics (1.0-4.0 cr)
or BTHX 8114 - Ethical and legal Issues in Genetic Counseling (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 8120 - Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture (2.0 cr)
or BTHX 8500 - Practicum in Bioethics (1.0-4.0 cr)
or BTHX 8510 - Gender and the Politics of Health (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 8520 - Social Justice and Bioethics (3.0 cr)
or BTHX 8610 - Medical Consumerism (3.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Masters
Doctoral
 
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BTHX 5010 - Bioethics Proseminar
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to topics in bioethics. prereq: Bioethics grad student or grad minor
BTHX 5325 - Biomedical Ethics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01202
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Major topics/issues in biomedical ethics. Patients' rights/duties, informed consent, confidentiality, ethical issues in medical research, initiation/termination of medical treatment, euthanasia, abortion, allocation of medical resources. prereq: Jr or sr or grad student or instr consent
BTHX 5300 - Foundations of Bioethics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Overview of major contemporary frameworks used to approach ethical issues in bioethics. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
PHIL 5320 - Intensive Study of a Historical Moral Theory
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Intensive consideration of an author or theory in the history of moral or political philosophy. prereq: 1003 or instr consent
PHIL 8310 - Seminar: Moral Philosophy
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Concepts/problems relating to ethical discourse. prereq: 4310 or 4320 or 4330 or instr consent
BTHX 5000 - Topics in Bioethics
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Bioethics topics of contemporary interest. Topics specified in Class Schedule.
BTHX 5100 - Introduction to Clinical Ethics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Most frequent ethical problems faced by clinicians, patients/families, and ethics consultants. Forgoing life sustaining treatment, decisional capacity, informed consent, treatment refusals, death/dying, pediatric ethics, reproductive issues, research ethics, psychiatric illness. Real cases.
BTHX 5110 - Ethical Issues in Pediatrics
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Bioethics concerns the identification, analysis, and resolution of ethical problems that arise in planning for the care of patients in biomedical research, and in relation to the natural world. This course deals with ethical problems that occur frequently in pediatrics settings, in clinical and public health venues, in research and in the environment. The course emphasizes the ethical responsibilities of laypersons, health professionals, researchers and policy makers in planning for and resolving bioethics issues in pediatrics, including the prenatal and perinatal period. Issues addressed include reproductive issues, death and dying, forgoing life-sustaining treatment, conflicts and war, research with children and pregnant women, genetics, public and global health, social justice and other topics.
BTHX 5120 - Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Examines practices of dying and death in contemporary U.S. culture, moral problems associated with these practices, possible solutions, and practical applications. Readings will consist of cultural critiques, bioethics literature, and empirical research.
BTHX 5210 - Ethics of Human Subjects Research
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Issues in ethics of human subjects research. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
BTHX 5400 - Intro Ethics in Hlth Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Topics vary to reflect issues of current significance. Relates to law/politics as appropriate but focuses on moral analyses of policy issues. prereq: Grad student or professional student or instr consent
BTHX 5411 - Health Law and Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01732
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Organization of health care delivery. Physician-patient relationship. informed consent. Quality control. Responses to harm and error, including through medical malpractice litigation. Access. Proposals for reform. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
BTHX 5453 - Law, Biomedicine, and Bioethics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01303
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Law/bioethics as means of controlling important biomedical developments. Relationship of law and bioethics. Role of law/bioethics in governing biomedical research, reproductive decisionmaking, assisted reproduction, genetic testing/screening, genetic manipulation, and cloning. Definition of death. Use of life-sustaining treatment. Organ transplantation. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
BTHX 5510 - Gender and the Politics of Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Significance of gender to health and health care. Feminist analysis regarding moral/political importance of gender, possibly including contemporary western medicine?s understanding of the body, childbirth, and reproductive technologies; cosmetic surgery; chronic illness; disability; participation in research; gender and classification of disease. Care work, paid/non-paid. Readings from feminist theory, history, social science, bioethics, and moral philosophy.
BTHX 5520 - Social Justice and Bioethics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
This course explores matters of social justice related to health. Readings from multiple disciplinary perspectives ground examination of how to understand social justice in this context. Class sessions will predominantly focus on specific practical issues such as health disparities, the politics of inclusion and exclusion in clinical research, resource allocation in resource poor settings, and health professional roles during war. Discussions incorporate consideration of these issues’ institutional and broader social contexts. This course is appropriate for a wide audience including students from the health professions, philosophy, social science, and law.
BTHX 5540 - Bioethics, Psychiatry & Psychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Explore philosophical and ethical issues in psychiatry and psychology. Potential topics include the moral responsibility of psychopaths for their actions, false memories of Satanic ritual abuse, insanity pleas, the sociology of institutionalization, clinical trials of psychiatric drugs, cosmetic psychopharmacology, recent work in experimental philosophy, and classic experiments in social psychology.
BTHX 5610 - Research & Publication Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Publication strategy/venues. Authorship issues/ethics in publication. Manuscript formatting/letters of submission. Peer review. prereq: [Junior or senior or grad student], bioethics grad majors must register A-F
BTHX 5620 - Social Context of Health and Illness
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Social context in which contemporary meanings of health and illness are understood by providers/patients. Ethical implications. Readings from history, social science, literature, and first-person accounts. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
BTHX 5630 - Bioethics Colloqium
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course features presentations from a variety of departments and programs across campus that deal in some way with ethics as a theoretical and/or applied concept. Students will attend these presentations; engage with scholars thinking about ethics from multiple perspectives; and be able to bring these perspectives to bear upon their own research. The course is thus an opportunity to explore ethics as it might be conceptualized or practiced in the social sciences, law, public policy, global health, and many other arenas, and in turn to think about how these disparate frameworks and practices can be usefully put into conversation with bioethics, and with their own projects.
BTHX 5650 - Disability Ethics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
This course is an examination of ethical issues pertaining to disability, with an emphasis on discussion and consideration of widely contrasting perspectives. Issues discussed include physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, selective abortion, cochlear implant technology, sterilization, special versus inclusive education, Universal Design/Universal Instructional Design, disability accommodations, and built and social environments, examined within social, legal, policy, and cultural environments. Assignments include, readings, viewings, journaling, field projects, and research papers.
BTHX 5900 - Independent Study in Bioethics
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Students propose area for study with faculty guidance, write proposal which includes outcome objectives and work plan. Faculty member directs student's work and evaluates project. prereq: instr consent
BTHX 8000 - Advanced Topics in Bioethics
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Advanced study of bioethics topics of contemporary interest. prereq: Grad or professional student
BTHX 8114 - Ethical and legal Issues in Genetic Counseling
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01203
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Professional ethics. Ethical/legal concerns with new genetic technologies. prereq: [MCDG MS, genetic counseling specialization] or instr consent
BTHX 8120 - Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Examines practices of dying and death in contemporary U.S. culture, moral problems associated with these practices, possible solutions, and practical applications. Readings will consist of cultural critiques, bioethics literature, and empirical research.
BTHX 8500 - Practicum in Bioethics
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 16.0]
Prerequisites: Bioethics grad [major or minor] or #
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Supervised placement to apply knowledge/skills from core courses. Individualized plan is developed between student, bioethics adviser or DGS, and mentor at practicum site. prereq: Bioethics grad [major or minor] or instr consent
BTHX 8510 - Gender and the Politics of Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Significance of gender to health and health care. Feminist analysis regarding moral/political importance of gender, possibly including contemporary western medicine?s understanding of the body, childbirth, and reproductive technologies; cosmetic surgery; chronic illness; disability; participation in research; gender and classification of disease. Care work, paid/non-paid. Readings from feminist theory, history, social science, bioethics, and moral philosophy. prereq: instr consent
BTHX 8520 - Social Justice and Bioethics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
This course explores matters of social justice related to health. Readings from multiple disciplinary perspectives ground examination of how to understand social justice in this context. Class sessions will predominantly focus on specific practical issues such as health disparities, the politics of inclusion and exclusion in clinical research, resource allocation in resource poor settings, and health professional roles during war. Discussions incorporate consideration of these issues’ institutional and broader social contexts. This course is appropriate for a wide audience including students from the health professions, philosophy, social science, and law.
BTHX 8610 - Medical Consumerism
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Roots/implications of "medical consumerism." How consumerist model shapes concepts of disease/disability. Larger historical developments that have led to current situation. How movement toward consumerism changes the profession of medicine. How tools of medical enhancement shape the way we think about our identities and live our lives. Texts from philosophy, history, literature, law, film, and social sciences.