Senior Seminar for Study Abroad in China, Fall 2004

Title:  Medical Practice and Ethics in China: Integrative Medicine and Public Health in an Interconnected World.

Course Description:  Health care practices in the US face a daunting list of challenges.  We live in the most affluent country in the world, yet 45 million have no health insurance, vaccine shortages are common, and new infectious diseases with few treatment possibilities are arising. We face many ethical challenges as we try to allocate precious resources to the burgeoning costs of health care.  How does China, a rapidly developing country of 1.3 billion people, deal with health care issues?  We will explore how the theories and practice of medicine evolved differently in China and the West, and how cultural differences affect our definitions, diagnoses, and treatments of disease, as we explore many questions about health care in China.   What are the unique medical and ethical issues that China faces?  How can we learn from their solutions?  What can we offer them?  How will the practice of medicine in China be affected by modern advances in human biology and by the importation of western culture?  How will global health practices and public health change as traditional Chinese medical techniques are incorporated into Western medicine, and high technology and new molecular therapies are being adopted in China?  We will explore Western and Eastern theories of moral philosophy and the specific ethical issues involved in developing and using health care systems in an interconnected world.


Possible Books: