New developments in biotechnology and biomedical science create the need to address ethical, legal and policy issues that result as a consequence of scientific advancement. Several agencies and committees in the governmental and private sector have been established to assess specific bioethical issues and to make recommendations. Bioethics Centers have emerged at several universities that are involved in scholarly research and training in bioethics. Students with an interest in bioethics can easily access an extensive array of resources via the web. For example, sites may include information on careers in bioethics, discussions of specific ethical dilemmas that have received extensive public debate, or hypothetical case studies that may be useful for a student preparing for medical school or other professional program.
Some of the projects, committees and courses in ethics at the University of Wyoming are listed below. As an introduction to current areas in bioethics, a list of key areas and resources are also provided for students beginning their exploration of bioethical topics. These listings are by no means comprehensive but are designed to provide a starting point for students interested in bioethics.
Although ethical discussions are embedded in many courses taught at UW, some departments offer courses designed to focus specifically on ethical aspects of the discipline:
Several introductory and advanced ethics courses are offered in the Dept. of Philosophy (e.g. “Ethics in Practice,” designed for preprofessional students; “Environmental Ethics,” focused on environmental dilemmas). Also, a Minor in Ethics is offered for students who wish to enhance their appreciation of ethical issues in any discipline.
The Daniels Fund has established a $3 million endowment for this chair. )
Law, Criminal Justice
Course in ethics in the administration of justice: ethical theory is applied to contemporary issues in law enforcement.
Course in bioethical issues in decision-making in nursing
Seminar course focused on contemporary ethical issues in the practice of pharmacy.
UW Research Office listed course on Research Ethics:
CITI course in the Responsible Conduct of Research; Free public access courses on the web in Biomedical; Social and Behavioral Research; Physical Sciences; and Humanities are available to the research community.
Kaiser Ethics Project
This is a 3-year project that was started in 2006 and funded by the Curt Kaiser Foundation. The project was designed to encourage development of ethics content for new or existing courses at the University of Wyoming.
Ethical Oversight Committees
IRB (Institutional Review Board for Projects Involving Human Subjects)
IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee)
Although the field of bioethics includes many diverse topics, some of the current areas of interest are:
Many of these web sites maintain updated links to other bioethics resources.
U.S. Government Sites:
Please submit comments/suggestions to Dr. Pamela J Langer, Dept. Molecular Biology, Univ. Wyoming, Langer@uwyo.edu.