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Bme Goes To The Movies: Developing Ethical Perspective In Bioengineers

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Industry Participation and Ethics in BME

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.262.1 - 7.262.10



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Paper Authors

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Kara Bliley

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Emily Mowry

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Amy Gray

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Jerry Collins

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Christina Mathieson

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Sean Brophy

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 2273


S. Brophy, K. Bliley, A. Gray, C. Mathieson, E. Mowry, J. Collins

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235


As bioengineering students enter their new profession they must become sensitive to the ethical ramifications of their work. Bioengineering educational programs seek opportunities to engage students in the exploration of ethical dilemmas in bioengineering. Our involvement with the VaNTH ERC and the learning sciences’ principles that guide their design of instruction has provided us with insights into potential methods to develop ethical awareness in our students. We are exploring the use of movies as a vehicle for identifying and refining understanding of ethical issues in a case. Although classroom discussions around case studies sometimes engage students, often the homogeneity and inexperience of the class result in a narrow focus on issues. In order to overcome this instructional problem, we have identified several popular movies that raise issues ranging from public health to research methods and practice. Students in a 2 nd-year undergraduate course on thermodynamics of biological attend an informal viewing of a movie, as one of their optional assignments (required as part a participation grade). Also invited were students from other disciplines on campus. This learning activity began by students generating their initial thoughts about ethical issues that relates to a movie they were about to watch. After watching the movie, everyone is asked to fill out a short questionnaire where they record issues they notice in the movie and potential ethical ramifications. Then, an open discussion follows in an effort to identify multiple perspectives. In this first study we focus on issues related to human subjects in medical research. Students view “Miss Evers’ Boys” 1 as a catalyst for thinking about relevant issues. One of the goals of this instructional method is to prepare students to investigate the details of these issues identified in the Belmont Report 2. We find that individually students can identify several relevant issues both before and after, but not all the issues. The group as a whole can identify many aspects of the principles for “Respect for Persons” and “Beneficence”, but miss issues related to “Justice”. This instructional method has the potential for demonstrating the important issues related to conducting research involving human subjects. This papers discusses the benefits of using movies for instruction, describes a short interventions we designed around watching a movie and a short description of impact of these results on instruction.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Bliley, K., & Mowry, E., & Gray, A., & Collins, J., & Mathieson, C., & Brophy, S. (2002, June), Bme Goes To The Movies: Developing Ethical Perspective In Bioengineers Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10810

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