Biomedical Ethics

Katie J Gallagher

Biomedical Ethics

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology department

Katie J Gallagher

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from 17 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.9
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 3.4
Easy
Heavy
Workload 3.2
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.2
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.1
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Would Take Again

Grades

Spring 2020
58.9%
49.1%
39.3%
29.4%
19.6%
9.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2020
49.5%
41.3%
33.0%
24.8%
16.5%
8.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Summer 2019
59.1%
49.2%
39.4%
29.5%
19.7%
9.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2019
40.6%
33.8%
27.0%
20.3%
13.5%
6.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2019
39.6%
33.0%
26.4%
19.8%
13.2%
6.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2019
30.1%
25.1%
20.1%
15.0%
10.0%
5.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2018
36.8%
30.7%
24.6%
18.4%
12.3%
6.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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1 of 2

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 26, 2019 Grade Received: A

People say Dr. Gallagher is a bit on the boring/dry side which is fair but she's also very clear and able to emphasize what she wants you to know. It's more that she can be somewhat repetitive and can have very long trains of thought, but nevertheless many of the topics should be at least decently interesting to the average person.

Among her strengths are that her lectures are extremely organized and, again, she emphasizes the main points that she wants you to know in lecture. This is absolutely critical. If you can force yourself to sustain that attention in class, you can save yourself hours of reading outside of class. What I ended up doing, actually, was to focus my energy on getting everything I could from her lectures and THEN doing the readings AFTER lecture instead of before lecture as suggested because then the readings were a breeze and I could ensure that I was making the connections and reviewing the points she wanted me to know.

The class grading is structured as follows:
Weekly quizzes: 10% - drop lowest 2 out of 9 weeks
Section attendance / participation: 15% - note that both actually count
Midterm 1: 20%
Midterm 2 :20%
Final exam: 35%

Quizzes were simple, 2 questions long and were there just to check that you did the bare minimum. People essentially almost always got 100%.
For attendance/participation, she has a clustered grading scheme where absences are punitive. In other words, it's set up as "0 or 1 absences" "2 absences" and so on as well as outstanding vs excellent vs good vs satisfactory vs unsatisfactory participation. It's somewhat convoluted and she sends an email at the end about it but essentially 1 unexcused absence will not harm you in any way whatsoever, but 2 unexcused absences with "excellent" (outstanding not allowed for 2 unexcused absences) participation automatically sets you back to an A- grade for participation.

Midterm exams were split into Part 1 and Part 2 sections, with Part 1 being multiple choice/short answer. I felt like these were quite straightforward and they were pretty lenient on grading. Part 2 was an essay with a prompt that they gave you beforehand. Going to office hours / review session is very helpful in getting a sense of the direction you want to take - otherwise it's easy to get off track and write an essay that may not meet what they're looking for or falls into some major philosophy traps.

Final exam has an additional Part 3 essay section where you aren't given the prompt beforehand and you must take an ethical stance and defend it on the fly for a case that she sets up for you. I personally felt that the final's Part 1 multiple choice was trickier and I regretted not reading the slides in more depth, something I didn't expect to have to do given that I had already put in a significant amount of effort into knowing each author's arguments quite well and her main points. However, I also ended up doing much better on the final than I had anticipated despite my concerns, and so did others.

Averages for the exams were as follows:
Midterm 1: nearly 87
Midterm 2: 88
Final: 89 (I asked her, as she didn't send a follow-up email as she did for the midterms)

All in all, Dr. Gallagher is a super fair professor and if you ever need help, she will be very patient in ensuring that you have your questions properly answered. This is definitely a decent class to take to fulfill your philosophy/linguistics GE and I also loved having Maddy as my TA :).

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted June 7, 2021
Grade Received: A

I took this for my philosphy GE. I'd say it was worth it. The material is very interesting. Professor's clarity is a little questionable. The way she talked was like a published paper rather than like a human being. In other words, she would explain simple concepts in a roundabout way that made it harder to understand sometimes. Grading on essays was a little harsh. A is definitely doable. I never did the reading btw, I learned everything from lecture.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 29, 2021
Grade Received: A

If you don't have to take this class for a requirement I wouldn't recommend it because it is a lot of reading every week, and the material is very dense. Lectures are not terribly engaging. Midterm essays are also graded a bit hard. However, I would say I learned ALOT about important concepts in biomedical ethics which I know will come up in my future. I think it's a useful but quite challenging class.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 25, 2021
Grade Received: A

Professor Gallagher is a really nice & supportive person who wants you to succeed. The class had weekly quizzes, two midterm essays, and a final essay/test. The weekly quizzes are super easy and just to ensure you pay attention in lecture. Honestly the lectures were a bit boring and I struggled to stay awake. If you want to do well, go to your TAs office hours to run your midterm ideas by them (because they grade your essay). It really helps if you can pay attention to the professors lectures because she basically explains all the important stuff in the readings.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Jan. 11, 2021
Grade Received: A

Overall, this class was pretty interesting for me. This is definitely a good class to take the philosophical GE for any life science major. The class has genuinely interesting content. I will say it is a lot of reading at least in my opinion. However, Dr. Gallagher's lectures basically tell you everything you need to know about for your essays. For me, there were no tests in this class. Instead, there were 3 essays. The prompts were fairly self-explanatory. The TA grades your essays, so how hard they are is up to them. My TA was really nice and liked my essays so I did well overall.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Jan. 3, 2021
Grade Received: A

First off, I took this class online during the pandemic. It is a super interesting class and I highly recommend anyone who is considering a medical career to take it even if to only satisfy the ge credit.
The class itself is kind of boring because it is all via zoom and she turns off her camera plus the chat is disabled. However, it is recorded and attendance is not required so that is a big plus.
Test wise, the TA is everything. They are very nit-picky and the instructions aren't that clear on how they want the essay to flow. She rarely gives out 100% on any essay and the mean was usually around 88-90%. They are graded as letter grades so you can get a 85-B 88-B+ 92-A- 95-A and rarely 100-A+. With that distribution, plus discussion quizzes which are super easy and she drops 3 of em, it is definitely really doable to get at least an A- in the class.
Gallagher is very helpful and her office hours are extremely useful, and even if you don't have a question, she is just fascinating to listen to.
Homework is long and the reading can sometimes take forever, but after the 3rd week, I realized that she goes over everything you need to know about the readings during lecture so honestly, I recommend skimming the readings and just listening to her lectures. Also, everything is in pdf form so it is FREE!
Content-wise, the class has a good flow, starting off with Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and Voluntary Active Euthanasia (VAE) then moving to fundamental ethical theories of deontology and consequentialism. Then into more specific Kantianism and Utilitarianism. After those broad topics, the class moves to specific arguments like ones over abortion, healthcare rights, and animal rights. The class also covers Virtue ethical theory. In the last few weeks, there is a lot of discussion on new medical technology like CRISPR and a look at where it has and can be misused.
Overall this course was a good starter to my medical journey and Gallagher is a really caring and knowledgeable professor!

Quarter Taken: Spring 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted June 19, 2020
Grade Received: A+

professor is very straightforward. took this class online bc pandemic and she made it very fair. the tests consisted of short answer and one essay. very doable if you understand the powerpoints and lectures. lectures give you all the information you need for the exams and exams are graded by the professor and both TAs. my TA Roxanne was amazing and was lenient with tardiness and gave help whenever i had any questions. i learned a lot of interesting things in this class which i am taking for my GE.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted June 14, 2020 Grade Received: A-

This class is great! I ended up learning so much not only about biomedical issues, but philosophy in general. I was so scared going into this class, because I had never taken any philosophy class, and didn't really know what biomedical ethics meant. I ended up loving it and now armed with so much new knowledge about issues like abortion, physician-assisted suicide, human embryonic stem cell research. Even though there was a lot of science-y, hard to understand terms in the readings that were provided on CCLE, Gallagher made the concepts so much easier to understand during lecture, so I would just do readings after the lecture, so I had some foundation on the issue. The grade distribution is: short in-section quizzes (10%), first midterm (20%), second midterm (20%), final exam (35%), and section attendance and class participation (15%). Gallagher was so understanding and puts her students first. This quarter, her daughter had to end up going to the emergency room, but she still managed to accommodate for her students and change the schedule accordingly. In addition, when COVID-19 became more prevalent during the finals week of winter quarter, Gallagher extended the due date for the final and shortened it, showing that she is understanding and can act in tough situations. Overall, I loved having her as a professor and would love to take this class again.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted April 29, 2020 Grade Received: B+

She looks like a Karen. That is all. She gives off Karen vibes. This class is unfair because your grade is heavily determined by your TA. My TA graded more harshly.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted March 22, 2020 Grade Received: A

Dr. Gallagher's lectures were incredibly clear, but some people may say they're dry. Her lecture slides are perfect and cover the essentials – you could ace the class only reading the slides and going to section. I took this class as a GE because I thought it would be interesting, and I liked it a lot. It's a great introduction to ethics that is put in the context of biology, medicine, and technology. Some topics we covered include abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and prosthetic limbs.

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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Would Take Again
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