The course provides a combined education in the academic and international worlds. It is relevant to students interested in Bioethics, Women’s and Gender Studies, Social Sciences, International & Public Health, Public Policy, Law, Medicine, and Nursing (among other fields).
The course includes a trip to the Netherlands over Spring Break 2012 (March 9-18, 2012), where students are taught by instructors and faculty from universities in the Netherlands. The program also includes guided tours of health care facilities, clinics, and social institutions. Prior to the trip, students will attend an orientation with the Director of International Programs, and two two-hour pre-trip seminars with the instructors at Case Western Reserve University (or via a web-based tutorial). After the trip, students will meet with the instructors for a wrap-up session to compare policies and practices in the United States and the Netherlands. (3 credits, register for Spring semester 2012)
- Offers students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with social policies and practices related to women's health in the United States and the Netherlands;
- Delves into the similarities and differences in each country’s social policy approach to birth control and family planning, abortion, prenatal testing, childbirth, health care disparities, cosmetic surgery, prostitution, and trafficking in women;
- Addresses the US and Dutch national policies regarding the public provision of health care for women;
- Explores the ways in which social norms shape policies over time, which political actors are involved in shaping women's health policy, and the balance between women's health as a matter of the public good and/or individual responsibility;
- Incorporates the expertise of healthcare providers, bioethicists, and women’s health advocates, enabling a better understanding of how medicine, law and life intersect;
- Provides an opportunity to travel to the Netherlands to directly observe Dutch culture and health care.
Through this program students will:
- Become familiar with social policies and practices in areas such as reproductive rights, abortion and contraception, maternal health, prenatal care, childbirth practices, cosmetic surgery, prostitution and sex trafficking, and health care access and disparities in the United States and the Netherlands;
- Identify important similarities and differences between policy, practice, history, cultural attitudes, and ethics with regard to women's health in the United States and the Netherlands;
- Understand the development of social policies, human services, and ethical issues in both countries with consideration of the history and cultural and social contexts of each place;
- Develop the analytical skills necessary for evaluating social policy and ethical issues related to women's health policy in both contexts, and understand how differing values result in very different approaches to the same issues;
- Integrate theory, observational, and didactic components to gain an intercultural perspective on each of the topic areas within each country.
Students will be expected to familiarize themselves with the literature in both countries on social policy and ethics concepts that are relevant to course topics prior to the trip. Attendance and active participation in the pre-trip seminar, all didactics and observational experiences during the trip to the Netherlands, and the post-trip wrap-up seminar make up 25% of the final grade. Writing assignments make up the remaining 75% of the final grade, and consist of a short pre-trip paper based on the course readings, and a more substantial final paper that synthesizes the course readings, lectures, and site visits to compare and contrast US and Dutch approaches to one particular women's health issue of the student’s choosing.Instructor:
Michelle L. McGowan, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Her teaching and research interests include women’s health, reproductive ethics, and reproductive and genetic technologies.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 6:00-8:00 PM, School of Medicine, Room T-501
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 6:00-8:00 PM, School of Medicine, Room T-501
Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 6:00-8:00 PM, School of Medicine, Room T-501
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