Bioethics Seminar


  • Yechiel Michael Barilan, MD, MA.

       Department of Medical Education Sackler Faculty of  Medicine


About the seminar:

The Seminar, led by Prof. Barilan, focuses on various bio-ethical matters, and meets every other week during the regular semesters. Each meeting focuses on core bio-ethical texts, papers or chapters and includes discussions and guest lectures. Topics over the years included: privacy, virtue ethics, utilitarianism, deontology, moral psychology, human dignity and human rights, Jewish Bioethics, clinical ethics, etc.



Every other week during the regular Semesters. The schedule will be decided for each semester and published to participants. 

Until further notice, meetings will be held virtually.  

Schedule for the current (2021-2022) Academic year  

The Second Semester (beginning February 20, 2022)
will include the following seminar meetings topics:

  • Intuition, Clinical Judgement and closure (Guest: Dr. Hillel Braude)

  • Epistemic communities and expert panels

  • Medical reversals

  • Social determinants of health and the fundamental cause theory

  • Genetics and Identity (Presenting: Rabbi Yehoshua Weisinger)

  • Assertive healthcare and the women’s health movement  (ٍPresenting: Sivan Leinheart)

 Participants are encouraged to read: M. Solomon. Making Medical Knowledge. Oxford University Press. 2015  (Pro. Solomon is invited to attend one of this semester's meetings.   

 Additional lectures during the second semester will include:  

  1. Virtue ethics part 1

  2. Virtue ethics part 2

  3. Power – Foucault, Lukas

  4. The social determinants of health

  5. medicalization

The First Semester (ended on January 2022) focused on Medical Thinking. It related to various approaches to medical understanding and the construction of "medical truths" as valid and practical advice. It related to the historical development of various approaches, building on prior approaches. The meetings were hybrid (on site, with Zoom participation). 

The meetings are held in Hebrew or in English. 

Reading material: 

12.10 Applying scientific thought in Medicine

P. Offit. Overkil. NY. 2020, prologue and ch. 17

Owen. Hands across America. The New Yorker, March 4th 2013, pp. 30-34

Thomson and Upshur. Philosophy of Medicine: An Introduction. Routledge, 2018. Ch. 7


26.10 intersectionality

O. Hankivski, Women’s health, men’s health and gender and health. Social Sciences and Medicine 2012; 74:1712-1720

9.11 Natural Health and "Bio-Hacking" (Guest: Dr. Dan Mishori)


23.11 The Bio-Psycho-Social model

Bolton. Case formulation after Engel – the 4P model. Philosophy Psychiatry and Psychology 2014; 21:179-189.

Brody. Stories and the biopsychosocial model. Philosophy Psychiatry and Psychology 2014; 41:191-193.

E. Shorter. The history of biopsychosocial approach in medicine: before and after Engle. In Biopsychosocial Medicine: an integrated approach to understanding Illness. White p. (ed.) Oxford University Press 2015, ch. 1.


 30.11 The career of people with chronic diseases (Guest: Dr. Dan Yemin; presenting: Sarah Kiviti)

Richardson WS: The practice of evidence based

medicine involves the care of whole

persons. J Clin Epidemiol 2017; 84: 18–21.

22 Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM, Gray JA, Haynes

RB, Richardson WS: Evidence-based medicine:

what it is and what it isn’t. BMJ 1996; 312:


14.12 Evidence Based Medicine


28.12 Personalized Medicine

K. Engelhart. What robots can – and can’t do for the old and lonely. New Yorker May 31st 2021

L. MacFarquhar. The comforting fictions of dementia care. The New Yorker 2018, Oct 8th.

J. Scott. Life at the top in America isn’t just better, it’s longer. New York Times 2005, May 6th.


Past meetings with guests in  2018-2019 included: 

November 7 (Joseph Lehman, Ph.D. Candidate, Speech Hearing, and Understanding), 21 (Jeni Muginshtein-Simkovitch, Ph.D. Candidate, Gender-Related Differences and their Effect on Equality of Opportunity in the IDF)

December 5 (Maayan Sudai, The Evidence of Sex in The Age of Medical Jurisprudence), 

January 2, 9 (Prof. Sharona Hoffman, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Discrimination),

March 6 (Dr. Nimrod Kovner, Mandatory Vaccination, and Conscientious Objection)

Join us: 

by contacting Dr. Oren Asman


Bioethics research students, Faculty, Jurists, Philosophers, Health care professionals.

Y. Michael Barilan

Dr. Barilan's research subjects are Bioethics, Biolaw and Medical Humanities. His own personal interests encompass moral theory and the intersections among bioethics, social history and related normative domains, such as law and religion, especially Halakhah (Jewish religious law), and explores human rights law and international humanitarian law in the light of the contemporary ethical and meta-ethical discourse.

Associate Professor, Department of Medical Education, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

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