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Applied Ethics in Global Society

Applied Ethics in Global Society

Applied Ethics in Global Society

Course Overview

The course will introduce students to both theoretical ethics and practical applications of theory in business, medicine, and scientific research. These fields have effects that are not isolated to their disciplines - they profoundly affect all of humanity through their impact on disease and public health, the environment, and the technology we use daily. Currently, we are seeing the global consequences of unethical conduct in the form of medication recalls, environmental disasters, and research sullied by conflicts of interest and bad science. The course will explore these impacts both from a philosophical as well as a practical perspective through case studies, guest speakers, and site visits. In the process, students will be able to draw upon London's resources as a major international center in all three disciplines.

Additional course activities

Guest speakers and/or site visits will involve:
  • Discussions of euthanasia with Anglican and Catholic clergy
  • Discussions of rationing with speakers from the National Health Service
  • Discussions of medication provision to developing nations with representatives from Doctors without Boders/Medicines sans Frontiers
  • Discussions of environmentalism and business ethics with representatives from British Petroleum
  • Discussions of globalization with a speaker from the London Stock Exchange
  • Discussion of animal experimentation with speakers from animal rights groups and researchers conducting animal experimentation
  • Discussion of the ethics of medication development and marketing with a representative of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

All activities are tentatively planned. Variations on speakers, trips, and topics may vary dependent upon speaker availability.

For further information:

About Dr. Matthew A. Butkus

Dr. Matthew A. Butkus
Dr. Butkus teaches courses in applied medical and scientific ethics for McNeese State University. He earned his MA in Philosophy and PhD in Health Care Ethics from Duquesne University, writing on the impact of depressive disorders on patient choices to forgo medical treatment. He earned undergraduate degrees in German and Philosophy from Georgetown University and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He has written on a variety of topics in philosophy and medicine, ranging from critical care medicine textbook chapters on metabolic disorders and gene polymorphisms in critical illness to political philosophy and religion in popular culture.