BioethicsWelcome to the CU AMSA Bioethics Webpage!
The goal of the AMSA Bioethics committee is to raise student awareness of various issues in the field of bioethics. Bioethics is a broad, interdisciplinary field encompassing the ethical issues that arise as a result of biological, technological and medical advances. As individuals who will be entering the medical profession, premed students should be well informed about current bioethical debates, so they are able to make informed decisions. We hold weekly meetings during which we discuss current bioethical issues and related news articles. In addition, we plan to hold several events where speakers lead discussions and explore current ethical concerns in an open setting with students. In past years, we have published a Bioethics Newsletter in the Columbia Science Review with articles written by students on a current topic chosen by the committee.
Last spring, Dr. Loike, director of Special Projects for the Center of Bioethics Department at Columbia Medical Center, gave a presentation on "Advances in Stem Cell Research, Chimeras and Bioethics." He mediated an hour-long discussion on the subject implications of the federal ban on stem cell research and the effects of these restrictions on fueling biomedical research.
Last fall, prior to the Presidential election, the Bioethics Committee co-sponsored a health care policy debate with the Columbia’s Political Science Students Association. During this discussion, Columbia faculty members, Professors Robert Lieberman and Michael Sparer, discussed the health care plans of Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.
In addition, Laura Bothwell, Program Director at the Center for the Study of Science and Religion (CSSR) of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, gave an engaging discussion on the “Ethics of Egg Donation and Public Policy.”
This semester our goal is to increase the awareness of the importance of biological and medical ethics among the premed community. We will hold weekly meetings during which we will discuss newly emerging ethical dilemmas. We will also explore the role of bioethics in a medical context by debating case studies from actual hospital bioethics committees. We hope to establish a bioethics blog that will feature various bioethics articles for students to discuss online. We will include interesting and noteworthy articles for students to comment on, as well as current events articles which will allow students to stay up to date on important bioethical debates, such as abortion rights, stem cell research and health care reform. We hope that student interest and involvement will make the blog a success.
We will also focus on creating a broader understanding and awareness of bioethics abroad: how different cultures around the world respond to scientific and bioethical challenges. In addition, we will hold discussions and debates with speakers from various disciplines. In response to the current presidential focus on science research and on changes in legislation, we plan to discuss political issues and the ethical implications of changes in policy.
National AMSA Bioethics Interest Group http://www.amsa.org/bio