Students to Compete in National Bioethics Bowl 

Preparing for the upcoming Bioethics Bowl competition are team members (from left) Alani Sweezy '19, Gus Castro '19, Adeline Schultz '20, Nick Milcik '20 and Katrina Zhu '19.

March 29, 2017 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Illinois Wesleyan University’s Ethics Bowl team will compete at the national intercollegiate Bioethics Bowl competition on April 8 in Utah.

At this year’s Bioethics Bowl competition, participants will argue and defend their moral assessment of complex ethical issues pertaining to health care and medical research. Participants will be presented with 15 cases, including issues concerning patient consent to medical courses of treatment; ethical complications that arise from medical research; financial barriers associated with health care; and drug testing for new vaccines in underdeveloped countries.

“Ethics Bowl is one of the single best educational experiences an institution can offer its students,” said team coach Emily Kelahan, assistant professor of philosophy. By encouraging students to think deeply and carefully about complex issues, Bioethics Bowl events foster teamwork and excellent oral communication skills, she said. 

“Bioethics Bowl incentivizes looking at difficult problems from the perspectives of those with whom you disagree,” said Kelahan, who explained that students are often forced to find common ground and build consensus about tough issues in a matter of just a few minutes.

The 2017 team includes philosophy and political science double majors Adeline Schultz ’20, Alani Sweezy ’19, and Gus Castro ’19, as well as political science major Katrina Zhu ’19 and physics major Nick Milcik ’20.

“Ethics Bowl events typify the kind of personal attention from and interaction with faculty members we strive for here at IWU and foster the kind of deep and meaningful relationships our students expect to develop with their peers,” said Kelahan. “It provides wonderful networking opportunities, introducing students to peers from other institutions, to faculty at potential graduate programs, and to professionals from a variety of careers.”

The Bioethics Bowl is sponsored by the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, an educational organization dedicated to promoting the exchange of ideas and fostering multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and inter-professional scholarship, research, teaching, policy development, professional development, and collegiality among people engaged in all of the endeavors related to clinical and academic bioethics and the health-related humanities.

By Vi Kakares ’20