Classrooms of the 21st Century
Teaching & Learning

Suggested topics

Ethical issues can be integrated into traditional biology curricula in many ways. The following list provides some ideas to get you started.

  • Organ Transplantation: Which of several matched donors should receive a particular organ?

  • New Reproductive Technologies: In vitro fertilization, Surrogacy, RU-486, pre-implantation embryo screening, cloning. Is there a significant difference between cloning sheep for pharmaceutical production and cloning humans?

  • Human Genome Project: Should employers be able to screen job applicants for specific genetic conditions? Who should have access to this information: family members, lawyers, insurance agencies?

  • Gene therapy: What are the potential ramifications of somatic and germ-line gene therapy?

  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation: Does a fetus have rights? If so, what are they and who is responsible for representing the interests of the fetus?

  • AIDS: issues involving disclosure, privacy, discrimination, insurance coverage

  • Euthanasia: What is the right to die? How does withdrawing or withholding treatment differ from physician assisted suicide?

  • Health Care Allocation: How do we decide who gets access to health care, particularly expensive equipment and therapies?

  • Environmental Issues: How do we decide between conservation and economic interests, for example, in the Pacific Northwest? Is a "Land Ethic" viable in the face of scarce resources?

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