PHA 6935 Ethics in Genetics


The late 20th century rapid development of new genetic technologies that enabled the mapping and sequencing in the Human Genome Project, as well as non-human life forms has had a profound impact on human society and our self-understanding. This technology has sometimes proceeded at a pace that threatens to outstrip our collective wisdom as to how it should be assimilated and regulated, both for individuals and for organizational entities from reproductive clinics and labs to national research institutions and entire societies. This course will introduce participants to these issues and explore proposed solutions as well as, as yet unsolved, problems. The course will focus primarily on human medical applications, but will also include some topics in social contexts wider than an exclusively medical context.

  • Tuition: $1,950.00 plus fees
  • Credit(s): 3
  • Course Format: Synchronous; required weekly live, in-person Zoom class.
  • Required: This is an elective course.
  • Prerequisites:
    • (GMS 6224) Foundations in Precision Medicine: Medical Molecular Genetics
    • (PHA 6134) Foundations in Precision Medicine: Genomic Technologies
    • (PHC 6598) Foundations in Precision Medicine: Genetic Epidemiology
    • (PHA 6935) Principles of Pharmacogenomics

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • List the ethical problems and issues arising from current genetic technologies and medical practices entailing genetics.
  • Articulate ethical theories, principles, rules, and concepts as they are applied to genetic and genomic medicine.
  • Comprehend specific problems arising at the intersection of genetics with artificial intelligence.
  • Engage in ethical critiques, analysis, and reflection on the major ethical, legal, and policy issues raised by genomics and genetics.
  • Articulate the impacts of genetic technology on the larger society and specific cultures and communities as well as at the individual clinical level.
  • Recognize the major problems of the history of eugenics.