Bioethics Blogs

New Bioethics Commission Classroom Discussion Guides Now Available

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has released two Classroom Discussion Guides to help instructors at various educational levels integrate ethics discussions into their courses. The discussion guides explore contemporary issues that have been addressed by the Bioethics Commission.

The classroom discussion guides provide prompts and questions that instructors can use to initiate and guide group discussion about ethical issues relevant to the subject matter being taught. Discussion questions are accompanied by a set of points that might arise in the conversation to help instructors prepare for and guide the discussion as needed.

The Classroom Discussion Guide on Ethics and Public Health Emergencies addresses two ethically relevant topics that the Bioethics Commission considered in its report Ethics and Ebola: Public Health Planning and Response: ethical considerations of implementing quarantine and isolation, and clinical trials for vaccines and treatments during a public health emergency. The Classroom Discussion Guide on Ethics and Neuroscience addresses three topics that have captured the public’s attention, and which relate to the Bioethics Commission’s report Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society. Those topics are cognitive enhancement, inclusion of dementia patients in neuroscience research, and the use of neuroscience in the courtroom.

These new resources add to a collection of educational materials that the Bioethics Commission has developed to support the integration of bioethics education in many disciplines in traditional and nontraditional educational and professional settings. Additional classroom discussion guides are under development and will be released upon completion.

All Bioethics Commission educational materials are free and available at

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.