Course 105: Ethics in Science:
What Should We Do and Not do?
Leaders: A. Loren Amacher and Richard J. Relyea
Description: The course will raise current bioethics issues, some of which are controversial. In four sessions we will discuss genetics, including ethical considerations of genetic research patenting. We will explore mitochondrial nuclear transplants, including ethical and legal issues. Another topic will be hybridization, the combining of genomes of different animals, including humans, to try to increase intelligence. We will include pharmaceutical industry bioethics, such as public vs. private support of research. We will touch on refusal of trade, such as a pharmacist's refusal on moral or religious grounds to sell contraceptives. In the last two sessions, we will explore medical ethics, including the concept of personal autonomy as it relates to medical treatment and end-of-life decisions. This area involves the patient-physician relationship, including the physician's role in those decisions. We will mention advance directives: powers of attorney for health care, living wills, and Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment ("POLST"). This topic includes medical and legal definitions of death and those definitions' ethical issues.
Biographies: Loren Amacher recently retired from 40 years of clinical and academic practice of neurosurgery, where most days present some aspect of the dilemmas and enigmas of medical ethics. He was a neurosurgeon at Evangelical Community Hospital and member of the Bioethics Committee from 2003 to 2010. Mr. Relyea is a retired medical attorney. He has degrees from Harvard, Cornell and New York University. For much of his career, he was a civilian attorney for the U.S. Army, specializing in medical-legal issues, including medical malpractice, HIPAA and confidentiality, and bioethics. He serves on Evangelical Community Hospital's Bioethics and Patient Safety Committees. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Health Care Law Committee and is its Bioethics Subcommittee Chair.
The sessions will be interactive, encouraging class member participation. The course will not be a repeat of Dr. Amacher's prior BILL Medical Ethics courses.
Materials for Course: The course leaders will provide written materials, which will provide a basis for discussion.
Number of Participants: Minimum: 8; Maximum: 20
Location: Red Cross Building - Edna Sheary Room
Meeting Time: Mondays, February 25 through April 8 (no class March 4) 10 a.m. - noon. (Each class is two hours long.)