Philosophy 195-02

Global Bioethics

Spring 2011


Tues, Thurs 10:05 – 11:20                                                       Professor Gopal Sreenivasan

Old Chemistry 123                                                                               207 West Duke



Reading Schedule


Readings without links will be made available within Blackboard.



January 13       Introduction.

Jan 18              Singer, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1972): 229-243.

Jan 20              Miller, Globalizing Justice (Oxford, 2010), ch. 1.

Jan 25              Hardin, “Living on a Lifeboat,” Bioscience (1974): 36-47;

Rosenfield and Schwartz, “Population and Development – Shifting Paradigms, Setting Goals,” N. Engl. J. Medicine 352 (2005): 647-9.

Jan 27              Sen, “Fertility and Coercion,” University of Chicago Law Review 63 (1996): 1035-1061.

February 1       Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights (Blackwell, 2002), ch. 8.

Feb 3               No new reading.

Feb 8               Sreenivasan, “International Justice and Health:  A Proposal,”  Ethics and International Affairs 16 (2002): 81-90;

                        Sreenivasan, “Health and justice in our non-ideal world,” Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (2007): 218-36.

Feb 10             Shue, Basic Rights, second ed. (Princeton, 1996), ch. 1.       

Feb 15             Rachels, “The challenge of cultural relativism,” Elements of Moral Philosophy, 4th ed. (2003), ch. 2;

                        Williams, Morality (Harper and Row, 1972), pp. 20-25.

Feb 17             Kausikan, “Asia’s Different Standard,” Foreign Policy 92 (1993): 24-41;

                        Sen, “Human Rights and Asian Values,”  Morgenthau Lecture, 1997.

Feb 22             Taylor, “Conditions of an Unforced Consensus on Human Rights,” in J. Bauer and D.A. Bell (eds.) The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights (Cambridge, 1999), ch. 5.

Feb 24             Class cancelled.

                        First essay due.

March 1           Chan, “A Confucian Perspective on Human Rights for Contemporary China,” in Bauer and Bell (eds.) The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights (Cambridge, 1999), ch. 9.

March 3           No new reading.


March 8           Spring break.


March 15         The Body Hunters. Washington Post, December 17-22, 2000.

                        Article 1.  Article 2.  Article 3.  Article 4.  Article 5.  Article 6.

March 17         Emanuel et al., “What Makes Clinical Research in Developing Countries Ethical?,J. Infectious Diseases 189 (2004): 930-37.

March 22         Levine, “Informed consent: some challenges to the universal validity of the Western model,” Law Medicine and Health Care 19 (1991): 207-13;

                        Ijsselmuiden and Faden, “Research and informed consent in Africa – another look,” N. Engl. J. Medicine 326 (1992): 830-834;

                        Gostin, “Informed Consent, Cultural Sensitivity, and Respect for Persons,” Journal of the American Medical  Association 274 (1995):  844-45.

March 24         Love and Fost, “Ethical and Regulatory Challenges in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Adjuvant Treatment for Breast Cancer in Vietnam,” Journal of Investigative Medicine 45 (1997):  423-431.

March 29         Ekunwe and Kessel, “Informed Consent in the Developing World,”  Hastings Center Report 14(3) (1984): 22-4;

                        Préziosi et al., “Practical Experiences in Obtaining Informed Consent for a Vaccine Trial in Rural Africa,” N. Engl. J. Med. 336 (1997):370-3;

                        Lynoe et al., “Obtaining Informed Consent in Bangladesh,” N. Engl. J. Medicine 344 (2001): 460-61;

                        Fitzgerald et al., “Comprehension during informed consent in a less-developed country,” Lancet 360 (2002): 1301-02.

                        Second essay due.


March 31         Freedman, “Equipoise and the Ethics of Clinical Research,” N. Engl. J. Medicine 317 (1987): 141-145;

Freedman, “Placebo-Controlled Trials and the Logic of Clinical Purpose,” IRB 12 (1990):  1-6;

Rothman and Michels, “The Continuing Unethical Use of Placebo Controls,” N. Engl. J. Medicine 331 (1994): 394-398;

Temple and Ellenberg, “Placebo-Controlled Trials and Active-Control Trials in the Evaluation of New Treatments:  Ethical and Scientific Issues,” Annals of Internal Medicine 133 (2000):  455-463.

April 5            Angell, “The Ethics of Clinical Research in the Third World,” N. Engl. J.  Medicine 337 (1997): 847-49;

Lurie and Wolfe, “Unethical Trials of Interventions to Reduce Perinatal Transmission of the HIV in Developing Countries,” N. Engl. J. Medicine 337 (1997): 853-856.                      

April 7             Crouch and Arras, “AZT Trials and Tribulations,” Hastings Center Report 28 (1998): 26-34.

April 12           Hawkins, “Justice and Placebo Controls,” Social Theory and Practice 32 (2006): 467-96.

April 14           No new reading.

April 19           Wertheimer, “Exploitation,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy;

                        Glantz et al., “Research in Developing Countries:  Taking ‘Benefit’ Seriously,” Hastings Center Report 28 (1998): 38-42;

                        Shapiro and Meslin, “Ethical Issues in the Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials in Developing Countries,” N. Engl. J. Med 345 (2001): 139-42.

April 21            El Setouhy et al., “Moral standards for research in developing countries: from ‘reasonable availability’ to ‘fair benefits’,” Hastings Center Report 34 (2004):  17-28;

Arras, “Fair Benefits in International Medical Research,” Hastings Center Report 34 (2004):  3.

April 26            No new reading.

                        Third essay due.


End of lectures.




There will be three 5-6 page essays in this course.  Each essay will be worth 30 percent of the final grade.  Participation in class is worth the final 10 percent.



Office hours


Wednesdays, 130-230.  Seeley Mudd Building, Room 108.




January 20, 2011