Beyond A Beautiful Mind: Schizophrenia and Bioethics in the Classroom


  • Elizabeth J. Donaldson New York Institute of Technology



pedagogy, bioethics, schizophrenia, psychiatry


This essay focuses on specific teaching assignments, strategies, and resources designed to help undergraduate students think critically about key concepts in bioethics—such as autonomy, paternalism, informed consent, and competency—using examples and case studies involving people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The assignments described below are disability-rights inspired interventions into the students' career-focused mindsets and training; one of my main strategies is social decentering, or having students examine a situation from a variety of theoretical and subjective perspectives. Exposing students to online talks by people diagnosed with schizophrenia and similar primary sources helps those students without first-hand experience to better understand these different points of view. While these assignments are primarily geared toward bioethics classes, they include resources and ideas for class activities that might be useful in other courses within disability studies, mad studies, psychiatry, literature, or film.




How to Cite

Donaldson, E. J. (2015). Beyond A Beautiful Mind: Schizophrenia and Bioethics in the Classroom. Disability Studies Quarterly, 35(2).