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Creation Of A Bioethics Course For The Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Curriculum

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Ethical & Industrial Issues in BME

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.338.1 - 8.338.9



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Paper Authors

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Emily Mowry

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

Session 2209


E. Mowry, J. Collins, S. Brophy

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


“Engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have…an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility….1” To address this need, we are creating an undergraduate biomedical engineering (BME) ethics course, which serves to raise awareness in students and better prepare them for careers in medicine, research, and engineering. The principles and methodologies of the course are centered around the Legacy learning cycle2 used by the VaNTH Engineering Research Center, in accord with learning principles addressed in How People Learn3. Students’ awareness of professional and ethical issues are increased through the investigation of ten to twelve case studies with in-class discussion, in-class movies with pre and post discussion, and guest speakers. Investigation of cases include documentation of students’ initial thoughts on issues, then systematic reflection on these thoughts through introduction of multiple perspectives provided by guest lectures, 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. Media depictions suggesting ethical issues are alternative presentation modalities allowing students to develop awareness of purposes and viewpoints of authors as well as subjects covered. Guest speakers serve as experts on ethical issues in areas of biomedical and clinical research, clinical medicine, and biotechnology and also serve as resources for students in developing their own solutions to ethical problems. Students bring background knowledge and personal beliefs to the classroom, and in-class discussions and reference materials provide students with multiple perspectives on bioethics problems. Our expectation is that students will leave this course with broader perspectives, and increased ability to discern and make judgments on ethical issues in biomedical engineering, medicine, and clinical research.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education Page 1 of 9

Mowry, E. (2003, June), Creation Of A Bioethics Course For The Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11629

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