To See Differently: Incorporating the Arts into Bioethics Education

Chapter
Part of the Advancing Global Bioethics book series (AGBIO, volume 10)

Abstract

Traditional approaches to teaching bioethics courses include, among other things, case studies from clinical or research ethics, chapters on patient autonomy and beneficence, conflicts of interest and the dangers of hidden prejudice. All of these are essential to a good bioethics course. In my experience, however, incorporating the arts—whether it is a poem, short story, film, or a painting or play—enhances the curriculum and encourages students to see differently. The arts have the power to startle, to challenge beliefs, to invite people to see the world through others’ eyes. In our culture, the arts are often relegated to the province of entertainment, but they can be powerful teaching tools, particularly in a field of study in which empathy is highly valued. Every culture has stories, art, music and dance, and these can be used to speak to students in introductory or advanced bioethics courses. In science and humanities courses, they can be used to introduce bioethical dilemmas and promote discussion. An instructor can use examples from the students’ own culture and expand their experience by introducing the arts and particular ethical issues of other cultures. This chapter will focus on the methodology of incorporating the arts into bioethics classrooms, using examples from various cultural traditions.

Films

  1. A Beautiful Mind, dir Ron Howard, 2001, DVD.Google Scholar
  2. Breaking Bad, cr Vince Gilligan, 2008-2013, TC series.Google Scholar
  3. Gattaca, dir Andrew Niccol, 1997, DVD.Google Scholar
  4. Miss Evers’ Boys, dir. Joseph Sargent, 1997, DVD.Google Scholar
  5. People Say I’m Crazy, dir John Cadigan, Katie Carigan, 2003, DVD.Google Scholar
  6. Philadelphia, dir Jonathan Demme, 1993, DVD.Google Scholar
  7. The Laramie Project, dir Moises Kaufman, 2002, DVD.Google Scholar

References

  1. Cobb, W. 1973. The Tuskegee syphilis study. Journal of the American Medical Association 65 (4): 345–348.Google Scholar
  2. Hawthorne, N. 1987. The Birthmark. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  3. Mueller, L. 1996. Monet Refuses the Operation. Second Language. Los Angeles: Louisan State Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of Notre Dame de NamurVillanovaUSA

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