Philosophy 281

Global Bioethics

    Spring 2013


Tues, Thurs 3:05 – 4:20                                                                                Professor Gopal Sreenivasan

08A West Duke                                                                                                                207 West Duke



Reading Schedule


Readings without links will be made available within Sakai.



January 10       Introduction.

Jan 15              Singer, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1972): 229-243.

Jan 17              Miller, Globalizing Justice (Oxford, 2010), ch. 1.

Jan 22              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 24              Sen, “Fertility and Coercion,” University of Chicago Law Review 63 (1996): 1035-1061.

Jan 29              Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights (Blackwell, 2002), ch. 8.

Jan 31              No new reading.

February 5       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  7              Shue, Basic Rights, second ed. (Princeton, 1996), ch. 1.       

Feb 12             Class cancelled.


Feb 14             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 19             Kausikan, “Asia’s Different Standard,” Foreign Policy 92 (1993): 24-41;

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

Feb 21             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 26             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.                    

                        First essay due.

Feb 28             No new reading.


March 5           The Body Hunters. Washington Post, December 17-22, 2000. Six part series.

March 7           Emanuel et al., “What Makes Clinical Research in Developing Countries Ethical?,J. Infectious Diseases 189 (2004): 930-37.


March 12         Spring break.



March 19         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 21         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 26         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 aVaccine 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.

March 28         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 2 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 PerinatalTransmission of the HIV in Developing Countries,” N. Engl. J. Medicine 337 (1997): 853-856.                      

April 4             Crouch and Arras, “AZT Trials and Tribulations,” Hastings Center Report 28 (1998): 26-34.

                        Second essay due.     

April 9            Hawkins, “Justice and Placebo Controls,” Social Theory and Practice 32 (2006): 467-96.

April 11           No new reading.

April 16           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 18            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 23           No new reading.


End of lectures.





There will be two 5-6 page essays in this course and a final examination.  Each assignment will be worth 30 percent of the final grade.  Participation in class is worth the final 10 percent.



Office hours


Tuesdays 2-3 and by appointment, in 207 West Duke




January 10, 2013