Bioethics and the Law (2 credits)

The seminar examines issues related to the rationing, rendering, harvesting, supply, demand and destruction of the human body and its genetic components. The seminar broadly engages genetics from the narrow study of gene patenting to broader questions of altruism versus markets in organs and reproductive materials. We will study whether human behaviors can be determined by genetics and investigate whether studies that pursue questions of behavior-determinant genes overstate what the research can uncover. We will cover issues regarding the ability of the state to regulate the body; the use of genes, gene patenting and control of tissues; organ donation; artificial insemination and markets for reproductive materials; genetic testing; eugenics and genetic diagnosis; genetic information and its effect on criminal law; cloning and property rights in individuals; behavioral genetics; gene therapy; and discrimination. Prerequisites: None