Biomedical Ethics 


The course is divided into 14 Modules, and each module contains 1 chapter from the textbook or online material in the module. Modules may last one week. (Summer 3 days) Exception:  The module on Ethics

The following learning activities apply to each module:

1. Read the assigned textbook material.

2. Respond to discussion questions submitted by the instructor.

3. Create and submit a discussion question about the material in the module. At least one in each module.  Student Led Discussion Question/Topic

4. Respond publicly to some or all of the questions submitted by other students.

5. Reply to students who respond to your question and responses.

6. Submit a written response to a question or dilemma presented by the instructor

Additional Activities:

7. submit one case study in eight (8) modules

Virtual Seminars/Discussions

In every module you will find a "Virtual Seminar" in the form of class discussions. Here, for each module and topic, you are expected to reply to questions from the instructor, you will ask a "critical thinking" question about some topic in the chapter, get responses from other students, and reply to those responses. Here too, you will answer the questions posed by other students, and they will reply to your answers. You are welcome to keep up this "virtual discussion" as long as you wish. The idea here is for each student to join in and to lead a discussion with the other students about some important issue introduced in the chapter.

This is the heart of this course as far as your instructor is concerned. It is here that the process of philosophy will be in evidence. It is here that you get an opportunity to DO PHILOSOPHY. This is the component of this online course that fosters the dialectical process of inquiry that is the heart of Philosophy. It is in this area that the instructor will encourage the learners to think about ethical issues using ethical principles and reasoning. These are skills that may serve the learner well after the course has concluded.

Written Assignments:

Upon completion of each module there is a question or two for a written assignment. These questions are my way of testing your understanding of the texts and Virtual Seminar/Discussions for that module. You will know what the questions or topics are at the start of each module. You should post your essays during the 2-day "window" that is established for submissions, not before. Unlike your responses to the discussion questions posed by me and the other students, you will submit your essays just to me, not to the whole class. You need to consider these essays as "take-home, open-book essay exams", which require well-organized, thorough responses. Most of the essays or questions can be answered by quoting the materials directly. Be sure to use quotations or citations to avoid PLAGIARISM. You are expected to demonstrate an awareness of the key principles or issues as were presented in the textbook or the instructor's written materials.


Each student must submit a case presentation on some incident or situation which relates to the topic and issues in eight (8) modules. Such presentations consist of the following two(2) sections.

a. Materials concerning the case located on the internet

i. Newspaper articles

ii. Magazine articles

iii. Professional Journal articles , e.g., Philosophy, Law, Medicine Nursing, Public Health, etc..

iv. Other Internet items

MINIMUM of four (4) items

b. Viewpoints on the case by analysts, ethicists, commentators .

MINIMUM of four (4) items which MUST include commentary and/or analysis by people who use ethical principles. These would NOT be articles in newspapers or magazines but items found in professional journals or at the websites of academic and professional organizations.

This is basically an assignment where you will use a number of search engines to gather materials from the internet.

GOOGLE, Northernlights, yahoo, etc...

You will copy and paste the addresses(url's) of those materials into a single file or document and then send it (submit it) to the instructor. You do NOT need to and should not make any personal comments on the case . So, you are NOT required to do any original thinking or critical thinking on the case. You will be gathering the materials and hopefully reading them and in so doing you will learn more about the issues involved and in gathering materials that involve ethical analysis you will learn more about that as well.

Talk with the Professor

In each module there is a "Talk with the Professor" area. Here I will ask questions which each student should respond to. Also, you may ask me questions, which I will respond to. Most often, I expect these questions (mine and yours) will be related to the discussions or the textbook - but nothing is "off-limits."

Ask a Question

Most documents you will be reading On-Line have a "Ask a Question" button at the bottom of the page. When you use this button, it creates a discussion thread that the professor and other students can participate in. It is the equivalent of "raising your hand" in the classroom.


1. Class Participation & Discussion: 14 modules @ 3 points each= 42%

2. Written Assignments -Questions/Essays: 14 modules @ 3 points each= 42%

3. Case Studies 16%

BONUS WORK: Final Culminating Survey and Essay: 5%

TOTAL: 105 %


In a fifteen-week semester (Spring and Fall) the workload for this course would be 9 to 12 hours per week. This includes all the reading, writing, and dialogue with your instructor and fellow students.

In the SUMMER SESSION with only 8 weeks from @May 29th to @July 25rd the workload in effect is double that of the regular 15-week semester. It requires 18 to 24 hours per week to successfully complete this online course.

This requires a serious commitment on the part of the learner. You can access the course at any time from any computer with an Internet connection. However, you must put in the effort, the labor, the work needed to meet the course requirements and obtain a passing grade.

The course can prove to be a lot of fun for those who take it seriously and keep up with the workload. For those who are unable to put in the time and fall behind the course could prove to be quite horrible.


You may ask me a private question at any time using private email as a private office visit.

I welcome your comments and feedback, too.

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