Doris Zames Fleischer, Ph.D.

Humanities Dept.

Literature Capstone: Literature and Medicine - HSS 403


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This course examines the relationship between literature and medicine by focusing on important literary works including fiction, plays, poetry, and non-fiction. These works reveal how medical issues underlie many of the vital questions of our age. Among the subjects considered are the conflict in the medical profession between achieving wealth and popularity as opposed to maintaining one’s courage and integrity; urgent public health questions; the struggles of the medical researcher; the influence of the marketplace on medicine; medicine as art as well as science; the daily realities of a family doctor’s life; the impact of politics on medical/health care decisions; eugenics and euthanasia; physician-assisted suicide; the role of the “gadfly” as initiator of changes in medical/health care policy.

All or portions of the following texts will be assigned:

Using reliable documented sources, students will be expected to relate the assigned works to current relevant issues such as the following: current medical education and treatment practices, role of money and politics in the delivery of medical services and medical research, current attitudes toward euthanasia, other genocides (following the Nazi genocide), current disability issues, and current “whistle blowers” on medical/pharmaceutical practices.

Students will write on topics such as the following: << Back