An Interdisciplinary Program
Since its inception in 1999, the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care has been committed to stimulating interest in and maintaining a national focus on the moral issues underlying biomedical research and medical treatment of African Americans and other underserved populations in this country. Designed as a program in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Center
for Bioethics provides national leadership in the bioethics community through ongoing education, training, research, scholarship, and publications. The Center for Bioethics seeks to increase the number of African Americans and other minorities trained and working in bioethics.
Bioethics weaves throughout the work of nurses, doctors, public health workers, social workers, lawyers, veterinarians, psychologists, community outreach persons, sociologists, engineers, biomedical resarchers, environmental specialists, and public policymakers. Technological advances raise many bioethics issues. Examples are stem cell research and genetic engineering. Bioethics is concerned with protecting vulnerable populations from exploitation and insuring their fair share of healthcare and public health opportunities, as well as just participation in research.
In human endeavors there is often potential to benefit or harm, to be just (fair) or unjust, to respect or disrespect peoples’ dignity and freedom of choice, to treat with care and empathy or disinterest and insensitivity, to include or exclude, and to be racist or antiracist. In all cases, bioethics works to understand and promote ethical practices.
Careers and Professions
Bioethics studies are beneficial for all careers. Healthcare professionals (human and animal) encounter bioethics issues throughout their work, as do psychologists, sociologists, and biomedical researchers. Many areas in the law, business, and public policy involve bioethics. A background in bioethics is helpful in applying to health professional schools.
All Tuskegee students are eligible to pursue the minor. The Bioethics Minor includes courses from the following disciplines: Philosophy (PHIL), Political Science (POLS), Sociology (SOCI), Social Work (SOWK), Nutritional Science (INSC), Physics (PHYS), Nursing (NURS), Health Science (IHSC), and Occupational Therapy (IOTH). Note: All courses are three credits except IOTH 0421.
Eighteen credit hours, at least “C” grade in each course
Six credit hours in core courses
PHIL 205 or PHIL 347
PHIL 203 Ethics and Values
PHIL 204 Ethics and Values: Applied Concentration
PHIL 205 Introduction to Bioethics
PHIL 347 Medical Ethics
Other Qualifying Courses
College of Liberal Arts and Education
PHIL 0201 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 0238 Argumentation and Discourses
PHIL 0310 Issues in the Sciences and Humanities
PHIL 0325 Philosophy of Science
PHIL 0341 Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 0342 Philosophy of Law
PHIL 0348 Business Ethics
PHIL 0350 Theories of Nature, the Cosmos, and the Environment
PHIL 0351 Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 0357 Africana Philosophy
POLS 0208 Ethics and Politics
SOCI 0402 Social Mental Health
SOCI 0443 Minority and Ethnic Group Relations
SOCI 0470 Sociology of Health Care
SOCI 0541 Socio-Cultural Problems of the South
SOWK 0235 Human Behavior and the Social Environment
College of Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Sciences
INSC 0580 International Nutrition Problems and Policies
College of Engineering, Architecture and Physical Sciences
PHYS 0512 History of Science
College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health
NURS 0303 Nursing and the Community III
IHSC 0409 Psycho-Social Aspects of Rehabilitation
IOTH 0421 Organization, Administration, and
Ethics in Occupational Therapy
Other Student Opportunities in Bioethics
Students discuss cases of bioethics interest (such as whether to allow stem-cell research), develop presentations, attend conferences, and compete in the Ethics Bowl of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.
Faculty, students, staff, and community members read bioethics articles about important issues and meet to discuss them.
Public lectures and panels address important issues in bioethics.
Participants view and discuss films of bioethical importance.
Outside bioethics scholars work with students, faculty, and community members.
In orientation sessions for first-year and transfer students, cases of bioethics importance, methods of case analysis, and bioethics principles are discussed.