Intensive Course: Exploring Bioethics through Film

UNIVERSITY OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY (UPV/EHU), DONOSTIA – SAN SEBASTIAN, MAY 9-19, 2016

This is the 2nd time we host this international program in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University. Taught by faculty from CWRU and UPV/EHU this course offers students a cross-cultural perspective on bioethics in the United States and Spain. This course uses the medium of film, complemented by readings in bioethics, film criticism, and medical research, to introduce students to a number of compelling bioethics issues. Attendance to HEFA (Faculty of Education, Philosophy, and Anthropology) activities free of charge for IAS-Research members, UPV/EHU researchers, “Filosofía, Ciencia y Valores / Filosofia, Zientzia eta Balioak” master students and anyone who expresses an interest on the topic. Free registration and more info: antonio.casado@ehu.eus.

Course Faculty: 

  • Suzanne Rivera, PhD, MSW
  • Michael Householder, PhD
  • Antonio Casado da Rocha, PhD, MA

Guest lectures by

  • Txetxu Ausin, PhD
  • Ezequiel Di Paolo, PhD
  • Aitor Merino (Film Director)
With the collaboration of

Course Overview:

This two-week, 3-credit intensive course will be held in the harbor city of San Sebastián – Donostia, Basque Country. Taught by faculty from CWRU and UPV/EHU, this course offers students a cross-cultural perspective on bioethics in the United States and Spain. This course uses the medium of film, complemented by readings in bioethics, film criticism, and medical research, to introduce students to a number of compelling bioethics issues.

Prior to the trip, students will attend at least two pre-departure sessions at CWRU, which will acquaint them with bioethics and with the use of film as a medium for stimulating discussion. In Spain, students will attend lectures that will be supplemented by site visits and discussion sessions.

Course Goals:

Through participation in this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify major ethical issues raised in the practice of medicine and research.
  • Compare and contrast approaches to bioethics in the United States and Spain.
  • Analyze the ways in which cultural traditions and national history influence and are affected by science and healthcare technology.
  • Analyze the ways in which art mediates the experience of bioethical inquiry.

Course Requirements:

  • Attendance and active participation in the pre-departure sessions, and all lectures and site visits during our time in Spain.
  • Several short writing assignments about the films and readings, TBD.  Undergraduates will write approx. 10 pages total and graduate students will write approx. 15 pages total.

Course Grades:

Your final grade will be based on:

  • Class attendance and active participation (in US and Spain) (50%)
  • Papers (50%)

Class participation is a critical part of this very interactive course. This means you are expected to be present for all class activities and to be an active contributor to lectures, discussions, and the class overall. Your participation grade will be based on attendance, punctuality, contributions to discussion, active listing and attentiveness in discussions and presentations, and general professionalism.

Films to be Watched Together (subject to change):

Alumbramiento, 2007 (prior to departure)
Asier ETA biok, 2013
Million Dollar Baby, 2004
Miss Evers’ Boys, 1997
My Life without Me, 2003
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007
The Sea Inside, 2004
Wit, 2001 

Required Reading (subject to change):

Bioethics at the Movies, edited by Sandra Shapshay, 2009.

  • part 3 chapter 12, “She’s DNR! She’s Research!: Conflicting Role-Related Obligations in Wit”
  • part 4 chapter 15, “I Can’t Be Like This, Frankie, Not After What I’ve Done”: Million Dollar Baby and the Value of Human Lives
  • part 5 chapter 20, “Stars and Triangles: Controversial Bioethics in Contemporary Spanish Film.”

The Picture of Health: Medical Ethics and the Movies, edited by Henri Colt, Silvia Quadrelli, Lester Friedman, 2011.

  • part 1 chapter 1, “Frankenstein and the Birth of Medical Ethics”
  • part 2 chapter 1, “Making Autonomous Decisions: Million Dollar Baby”
  • part 2 chapter 3, “The Ethics of Self-determination: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”
  • part 2 chapter 8, “Research and Racism: Miss Evers’ Boys”
  • part 6 chapter 5, “Subject Participation in Research: Frankenstein”
  • part 8 chapter 5, “Do Not Resuscitate Orders: Wit”
  • part 8 chapter 10, “Suicide: The Sea Inside”
  • part 9 chapter 5, “Futility of Care: My life Without Me”

Encyclopedia of Bioethics 6th Edition: “Bioethics”

Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases, Vaughan: Chapter 3

Gabilondo, J. 2002 “Uncanny Identity: Violence, Gaze, and Desire in Contemporary Basque Cinema.” In: Constructing Identity in Contemporary Spain: Theoretical Debates and Cultural Practice. Ed. Jo Labanyi. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. 262-79.

Journal Articles (subject to change):

  • A Casado da Rocha, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, J Med Mov, 2009; 5: 45-46
  • M J Guerra, Euthanasia in Spain: The Public Debate after Ramon Sampedro’s Case, Bioethics, 1999; V13 Number 5: 66-73.


Exploring Bioethics Themes through Film

2016 Class  Schedule 

Orientation: March 2, 6:00-7:00 pm

Pre-departure session 1: April 2, 1:00-3:00 pm

Pre-departure session 2: April 22, 6:00-8:00 pm

Sunday, May  8

  • Meet at TBD to board bus to San Sebastián
  • Settle into dorms
  • Dinner together

Monday, May 9

  • 10:00-13:00 HEFA Faculty Building, Gradu Aretoa
  • Film Million Dollar Baby and discussion

Tuesday, May 10

  • 10:00-13:00 HEFA Faculty Building, Gradu Aretoa
  • Film Asier ETA biok
  • 14:30 Lunch at San Telmo Museum
  • 16:00 Open Discussion at the Museum with film director Aitor Merino
  • 17:00 Guided Visit to the Museum (in English)

Wednesday, May 11

  • 10:00-13:00 HEFA Faculty Building, Gradu Aretoa
  • Film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and discussion with cognitive scientist Ezequiel Di Paolo

Thursday, May 12 DAY TRIP TO BILBAO

  • 9:30-12:30 UPV/EHU Biscay Campus
  • Film My Life without Me and Tour of Medical School, including Arboretum and Forest of Life
  • 13:00 Lunch (provided) at traditional restaurant
  • 15:00-18:00 Guggenheim Museum

May 13 – 16 FREE DAYS

Tuesday, May 17

  • 10:00-13:00 HEFA Faculty Building, Gradu Aretoa
  • Film The Sea Inside and discussion
  • 15:30-18:30 Tour of AIETE PALACE, including session on Film, Human Rights, and the Law with ethicist Txetxu Ausin and mid-afternoon snack (provided)

 

Wednesday, May 18

  • 10:00-13:00 HEFA Faculty Building, Gradu Aretoa
  • Film Miss Evers’ Boys and discussion

Thursday, May 19

  • 10:00-13:00 HEFA Faculty Building, Gradu Aretoa
  • Film Wit and discussion

Friday, May 20

  • Wrap-up activity/am
  • Depart San Sebastián by bus, spend night in Madrid

 

 

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