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 Spring 2022
  • 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 Bioethics minor is designed to deepen students’ knowledge of the ethical issues surrounding health and the life sciences.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Special Application Requirements:
Students pursuing the JD, MD, PharmD, DVM, DDS, or LLM degree are not eligible for the minor. Eligible students interested in the minor are strongly encouraged to confer with their major field advisor and director of graduate studies, and the Bioethics director of graduate studies regarding feasibility and requirements. Acceptance into the Bioethics minor requires pre-approval by the Bioethics director of graduate studies.
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.
Coursework Requirements
Required Courses (2 credits)
Select 1 of the following courses in consultation with the Bioethics director of graduate studies:
BTHX 5010 - Bioethics Proseminar (2.0 cr)
or BTHX 5325 - Biomedical Ethics (3.0 cr)
Electives (6 to 12 credits)
Master’s students select at least 6 credits and doctoral students select at least 12 credits from the following, in consultation with the Bioethics director of graduate studies, to meet minimum credit requirements. Other elective courses may be chosen with approval of the Bioethics director of graduate studies.
BTHX 5000 - Topics in Bioethics (1.0-4.0 cr)
BTHX 5100 - Introduction to Clinical Ethics (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5110 - Ethical Issues in Pediatrics (2.0 cr)
BTHX 5120 - Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture (2.0 cr)
BTHX 5210 - Ethics of Human Subjects Research (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5400 - Intro Ethics in Hlth Policy (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5411 - Health Law and Policy (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5453 - Law, Biomedicine, and Bioethics (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5510 - Gender and the Politics of Health (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5520 - Social Justice and Bioethics (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5540 - Bioethics, Psychiatry & Psychology (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5610 - Research & Publication Seminar (1.0 cr)
BTHX 5620 - Social Context of Health and Illness (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5630 - Bioethics Colloqium (1.0 cr)
BTHX 5650 - Disability Ethics (3.0 cr)
BTHX 5900 - Independent Study in Bioethics (1.0-4.0 cr)
BTHX 8000 - Advanced Topics in Bioethics (1.0-4.0 cr)
BTHX 8114 - Ethical and legal Issues in Genetic Counseling (2.0 cr)
BTHX 8120 - Dying in Contemporary Medical Culture (2.0 cr)
BTHX 8500 - Practicum in Bioethics (1.0-4.0 cr)
BTHX 8510 - Gender and the Politics of Health (3.0 cr)
BTHX 8520 - Social Justice and Bioethics (3.0 cr)
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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· Fall 2022

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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: Bthx 5325/Phil 5325
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course, delivered entirely online, examines issues in bioethics spanning clinical ethics, public health ethics, and research ethics. The course also introduces conceptual frameworks and methods that can be used to analyze these issues. prereq: Jr or sr or grad student or instr consent
BTHX 5000 - Topics in Bioethics
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Periodic 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: Fall Odd Year
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: Bthx 5411/Law 6611
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: Bthx 5453/Law 6853
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
Advanced study of bioethics topics of contemporary interest. prereq: Grad or professional student
BTHX 8114 - Ethical and legal Issues in Genetic Counseling
Credits: 2.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Bthx 8114/GCD 8914
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
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.