Bioengineering focuses on the development and application of new technologies in biology and medicine. These technologies often have powerful effects on living systems at the microscopic and macroscopic level. They can provide great benefit to society, but they also can be used in dangerous or damaging ways. These effects may be positive or negative, and so it is critical that bioengineers understand the basic principles of ethics when thinking about how the technologies they develop can and should be applied. On a personal level, every bioengineer should understand the basic principles of ethical behavior in the professional setting. The goal of this semester course is to present the issues of professional conduct in the practice of engineering, research, publication, public and private disclosures, and in managing professional and financial conflicts. The course seeks to teach these concepts through didactic presentations, case studies, presentations of methods for problem solving in ethical matters, and classroom debates on contemporary ethical issues. Investigation of cases includes documentation of students’ initial thoughts on issues, then systematic reflection on these thoughts through introduction of multiple perspectives, thought papers and in-class discussions. Case studies cover a wide variety of application areas, including genetic engineering, xenotransplantation, using animals in research, rights of patients and research subjects, and BME technology development.
Ethics in Biomedical Engineering Research and Management
01/22/2024 - 05/07/2024