Medical Humanities and Bioethics
What is Medical Humanities and Bioethics?
Medical humanities lie at the intersection of human experience, medical practice and scientific technology. It refers to the interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary application of the humanities and social sciences to health education and its practice. It provides insight into the human condition, suffering, personhood and our responsibility to each other. It also helps us understand how bioscience and health care take place within cultural and social contexts and how culture interacts with the individual experience of illness and the way medicine is practiced.
Students interested in a certificate in medical humanities and bioethics will develop their skills in observation, analysis, empathy and self-reflection. This certificate will help students identify, analyze, and resolve moral and social conflicts as they might arise in the care of patients. It heightens a student's sensitivity to the health care experiences of others and how those experiences are shaped by social, political and cultural circumstances.
A certificate in medical humanities and bioethics from UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) gives an edge for students interested in any aspect of the health care industry.
In today's rapidly accelerating world of scientific, technological, cultural and political transformations, the health care industry faces challenges that transcend traditional academic disciplines.
The demand for professionals who can synthesize the ethical, social and practical aspects of health care continues to grow. In our world, where advances in science and technology often outpace our ability to understand and cope with new concepts and situations, the need for deep grounding in medical humanities is particularly acute for new professionals.
Majoring in Medical Humanities and Bioethics
Ten courses make up the medical humanities and bioethics certificate. Three courses are required and the other seven can be chosen from a list of electives. The three required courses cover three basic areas in medical humanities: bioethics, the social/cultural aspects of biomedicine, and how rhetoric and politics influence health care. These courses are then followed by a set of elective courses, which students can tailor to meet their needs and career goals.
While the courses are listed topically below, students can devise their own pathways through the curriculum. In completing this certificate, students will enter the work force better prepared to cope with the often bewildering challenges that represent today’s health care industry.
This curriculum information is intended as a general information guide for students considering enrollment in this program. These online tools are designed to assist you, but are not a substitute for planning with an academic or faculty advisor.
If you are currently confirmed or enrolled, you can check your degree requirements online. If you are considering transferring to this major from another school, use u.select to see how credits you have earned will transfer to UC. See course descriptions by college.
PHIL 302: Topics in Practical Ethics: Bioethics
This course is about moral reasoning in bioethics. It focuses on ethical principles and philosophical theories deployed to solve ethical problems in the biomedical sciences and medicine. BoK: HU/SE
ANTH 279: Medical Anthropology
A cross-cultural introduction to the epidemiology, causation and treatment of disease in different ecologies and cultures. BoK: SS/DC
COMM 405: Communication and Health Politics
This course examines the role of rhetoric and culture in the realm of health care, including public health, medical care and research. We will examine the ways in which multiple interest groups shape public discourse in advocating their position, and the influence of health. BoK: SE
TAKE 7 FROM BELOW:
Perspectives on Health
SOC 490: Sociology of Health and Illness
Examines classical and critical theories of health, illness and empirical research. Preventative approaches to health care are contrasted with disease oriented approaches on the basis of social economic and demographic factors, health care providers, patients and health care systems. Prereq: 15SOC141. BoK: NA
COMM 468: Communication of Technology and Science
Investigate communication about new and developing technology, medicine and science. This course focuses on persuasive strategies used by politicians, researchers and social movements in public debate. BoK: HU/SE
POL 235: American Health Policy
The course goals are to achieve basic understanding of 1) the history of health care delivery in the U.S., 2) the relationship of public and private sector in organizing health care delivery, 3) the role of government in developing health care policy and 4) comparison to other industrialized countries' health care systems. BoK: NA
GEOG 588: Medical Geography
Geographic perspectives on disease, death and health care systems. BoK: SE
The Body and Women’s Health
SOC 332: Body and Society
Examines social factors/dynamics that influence how the body is viewed in US and other societies and the implications of those images for the self. Topics include: self concept/body image relationship; the definition of beauty; images of the body in mass media; cosmetic surgery as a way to attain/maintain beauty; how race/ethnicity, sex/gender and social class influences such definitions. Prereq: 15SOC141. BoK: SS
WGS 210: Human Sexuality
Psychological, biological and social analysis of adult human sexual functioning and relationships. BoK: SE
WGS 371: Women’s Health
Examines women's bodies and health through feminist perspectives and the development of feminist health movements domestically and internationally. BoK: SE/DC
Race, Class and Healthcare
PHIL 521: Genomics, Race, and Ethics
For the past 400 years, scientists, health professionals, ethicists and philosophers have been divided over the validity and the utility of the concept of race. Contrary to some expectations, the completion of the Human Genome Project only deepened this controversy. Examines taxonomic, biochemical, social and ethical issues involved in the study of population structure at the age of the DNA revolution. BoK: HU
HIST 548: Race and Science in the United States
Examines the way scientific concepts and practices have defined racial difference in the US. Spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, the course seeks to better understand the multiple, shifting meanings and uses of race and the participation of the biological, medical and social sciences in constructing them. BoK: HP/DC. Credit Level: U, G. Credit Hrs: 3.00
AFST 432: Black Health Care
An introduction to how race, social class and gender shape the health status of black men and black women; especially how institutional discrimination in the health care delivery system result in different patterns of health and wellness for black women and black men. Topics covered might include reproductive concerns, violence as a public health concern, stress, black mental health, AIDS, and social and economic conditions such as environmental pollutants that affect black health. BoK: HP
PHIL 563: Social and Ethical Issues in Biomedicine
Philosophy of medicine cum bioethics has become a genuine academic discipline, and recent biotechnological innovations have given a momentum to research and debates in this field. This course will first analyze the central philosophical concepts on which this discipline rests. It will then dwell on the social challenge of the genetic age and the philosophical theories deployed to solve the ethical problems related to genetic intervention. BoK: HU/SE
PHIL 332: Ethics and the Family
Examines ethical questions about both "traditional" and "non-traditional" families. What do we owe our family members? Who counts as a family member? Topics may include the rights of children; inheritance; adoption; sperm and egg donation; surrogacy contracts; polygamy; equally shared parenting; gay marriage; special obligations to relatives; and others. BoK: HU/SE
PHIL 381: Science, Philosophy, and Society
Examines scientific rationality, the role of science in society and the impact of society on society. It will focus on issues such as the nature of scientific method and of scientific truth, free inquiry and social and ethical constraints on research in a democratic society. BoK: HU
PHIL 475: Philosophy of Medicine
An introduction to ethical and philosophical issues raised by the practice of medicine. BoK: HU/SE
Suffering and Death
RELG 317: Religion, Medicine and Healing
This course will examine the intimate connection between religion and medicine through an investigation of the nature of health and healing. What does it mean to be whole and healthy and how do these traditions address and understand illness. BoK: HU.
RELG 319: Suffering and Death
This course will focus on several human responses to death and dying: denial, acceptance and rebellion. From the perspective of both the humanities and social sciences, the course will investigate such questions as: life after death, funeral behavior, grief and bereavement, suicide and terminal care. BoK: HU
SOC 340: Sociology of Death and Dying
Exploration of historical and modern societal attitudes towards death and dying, cultural practices of funeral ritual, body disposition and grieving, and legal and ethical issues surrounding end of life. Prereq: SOC 141. BoK: SS
Students already pursuing a degree in any other college at UC can add the certificate to their program. Be sure to submit a declaration of the certificate program using our online form.
Students not currently pursuing a degree may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.
Changing Majors within UC Requirements
Make sure that you have declared the certificate program online. Next, make sure that the certificate program director is aware of when you are finishing the program. If you are pursuing another bachelor's degree, then your certificate will be reviewed at the time that you submit your separate degree application.
The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.