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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

Betsy Hopkins

Ph.D. student


My main area of research, and the one in which I feel I need further instruction, pertains to the area of medical ethics and the LGBTI community.  I have been working on the outline of my dissertation that would focus upon the transgender community and the issues of identity and autonomy in medical decisions. 

Philosophy, for me, is a field that approaches the various aspects of life in ways that are inherently interdisciplinary. Thus, in my own area of interest, medical ethics, philosophy must deal with not only theoretical and practical issues in ethics, but also technological advancements in medicine as well as political, legal and social pressures that shape and inform our medical practices. Medicine’s impact on personal identity, for instance, becomes on obvious issue for me as a Lesbian patient.  I am passionate about medical ethics especially as it pertains to questions of identity, gender and sexuality.

I have thus decided to write a dissertation on identity and autonomy issues as they pertain the medicalization of gender, transgender, and transexuality.