What is Bioethics?

Bioethics is an inter-disciplinary field of study concerned with the moral implications of biological and medical procedures, technologies and treatments. It focuses on ways in which research is applied to clinical practice and public policy. Bioethics promotes dialogue between science, biotechnology, medicine, nursing, politics, law, philosophy and religion. By extension, bioethics now considers important questions related to the moral status of animals and the environment.

What will the study of Bioethics help me to do?

The study of Bioethics will teach you how to think about bioethical issues in a systematic and rational way. It will not teach you what to think about an issue. Bioethics is relevant to all students—it is the study of issues that regard all of life and our environment.Bioethics will be of particular importance to individuals who plan to be involved in any form of health care or scientific research.  Standardized tests such as the MCAT are working toward incorporating Bioethics concepts into their exams and medical schools are now using interviews that determine a student’s bioethical awareness and concern.
Topics of bioethics include:
  • health care
  • assisted reproductive technologies
  • genetically modified food
  • human (or animal) research subjects
  • human cloning
  • genomics
  • stem cell research/therapy
  • vaccination controversy
  • euthanasia
  • transexuality
  • surrogacy

Contact Us

Division of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology
Janet Williams, Ph.D.
Professor and Advisor, Pre-medical/Pre-health
Director, Postbaccalaureate Premedical Studies