GeorgetownX: Introduction to Bioethics MOOC Archive

About this Digital Archive

This is the institutional archive for PHLX101-01, the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in introductory bioethics. Created by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, it was first published on edX on April 15th, 2014. The six-week online course featured twelve topics taught by seven leaders in the field of bioethics. Notable innovations to the nascent MOOC format included “Explore More” topic guides, “Do More” activities to supplement readings, lectures and quizzes and “TEDx-style” introductions to each week’s topics filmed in historic Gaston Hall.

This archive is available to members of the Georgetown Community who have a current NetID. To access the archive visit the Digital Georgetown collection and enter your NetID and password when prompted.

All rights reserved. Please contact digitalscholarship@georgetown.edu to obtain information about the use of this video and digital objects.


Original Course Trailer


Original Course Description

Introduction to Bioethics explores some of the most difficult – and fascinating – moral challenges we face in health, medicine, and emerging technologies.

Should we clone humans? Who owns our DNA? How much control should we have over how and when we die? When does medical treatment turn into medical enhancement — and should we care? Is rationing health care good, bad, necessary — or all of the above?

This course will explore fundamental moral issues that arise in medicine, health, and biotechnology. Get behind the headlines — and polarized debates — and join others who want to think deeply and openly about these problems. Some are as old as life itself: the vulnerability of illness, the fact of death. Some are new, brought on by a dizzying pace of technology that can unsettle our core ideas about human nature and our place in the world. And nearly all intersect with issues of racial and gender equality, as well as policies affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Designed to introduce students to the range of issues that define bioethics, together with core concepts and skills, this course should be of interest to undergraduates, health care professionals, policy makers, and anyone interested in philosophy or ethics.