In this course we'll be looking at one of the many controversial topics in medical ethics. Some topics in medical ethics are new, the result of fast-paced changes in technology: should we genetically engineer ³better² humans? Some are issues as old as humanity itself, products of the fact that we give birth, get ill, and face death. We¹ll concentrate in this course on one of these older topics -- on death and decision making at the end of life. We¹ll be examining the medical definition of death, advance directives concerning medical treatment near the end of life, euthanasia, and competence and substitute decision making at the end of life.
LESLIE BURKHOLDER is a senior lecturer in the Philosophy Department at UBC. He did his graduate studies at MIT. He regularly teaches core undergraduate courses on logic and critical thinking and scientific reasoning at UBC. He is also a co-editor for the new edition of Biomedical Ethics: A Canadian Focus (Oxford University Press 2016).