Healthcare Ethics Course Descriptions
There are many different ways of theorizing about moral philosophy and each has its advantages and disadvantages. This course evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of each of these systems of moral philosophy.
The course provides an introduction to the methods of religious discourse in health care ethics. There is discussion of different approaches, policies, teachings, and practices. And a variety of practical topics are engaged to illustrate the variety of religious discourse n the field.
This course provides a foundational introduction to other degree courses in the healthcare ethics curriculum. The course presents an historical and systematic analysis of theoretical approaches to healthcare ethics as well as a study of practical issues. A general ethical typology presents knowledge of the vocabulary and methods in the field. Practical issues are discussed to illustrate the theoretical questions.
HCE 580, Healthcare Law & Ethics
The course offers an introduction to Jewish healthcare ethics discussing its various approaches and offering comparative insights with regard to other major religious traditions.
An examination of religious, philosophical, and policy perspectives on theoretical understandings of justice and on practical issues involving the allocation and delivery of health case, such as access to health care, health care reform, rationing, and managed care.
The course discusses ethical issues related to emerging trends in human genetics and stem cell research. Topics include: the development of ethics discourse on the human genome; ethics and technology; Consent and Genetics Counseling; Stem Cell Research and Cloning; Germline Modification; Genetics, Disability, and the Vulnerable; Population Screening, including Newborns; Individuals Screening and Tests; Neuro-ethics and Nano-ethics; Patents, Biobanking, and Business.
The course will make students familiar with the recent issues and debates in research ethics. It will start with the history of the debate on ethics and research (focusing on exemplary cases). It will analyze the various ethical dimensions of different types of research in the field of healthcare, in particular informed consent, risk-benefit assessment, ethical review, and research with special populations. It then offers the opportunity to study in more details subjects as international research, research with children, animal research, ethics review committees, and research integrity.
This course focuses on the globalization of bioethics. It addresses the question of universal ethical principles in connection to cultural diversity. Current problems will be discussed, e.g. international clinical trials, benefit sharing, organ trafficking, social responsibility for health, globalised food and culture.
Ethical issues related to the end of life are the main focus of this course. Starting from an analysis of the major moral traditions (Hippocratic tradition, sanctity of life tradition and Enlightenment tradition) as well as the philosophical debate on the goals of health care, specific ethical problems will be analyzed: suffering, death and dying, futility of treatment, withholding and withdrawing treatment, artificial food and nutrition, palliative care, euthanasia, and compassion.
Public health ethics is an underdeveloped area in healthcare ethics. It is, however, increasingly important with the rise of global bioethics. The course examines the public health perspective and the general principles and issues of public health ethics. It analyses ethical dimensions of health concepts, health promotion, prevention, epidemiology, immunization, screening and health policy. It will study significant cases related to drug use, health inequalities, coercion and infectious disease, the war on fat, bioterrorism, disasters, and humanitarian intervention.
HCE 661, Development of Doctrine in Healthcare Ethics
This course considers the development of doctrine in health care ethics in the sense of investigating its truth claims or belief statements. The purpose is to clarify the significance of hermeneutics, or theories of interpretation, in the development of the field. The course will be especially attentive to the prospective integration of ethics, science, medicine, law and policy, in order to consider feasible changes as health care ethics increasingly engages history and culture in an interdisciplinary manner.
The course examines the role of organizational ethics in health care. Business ethics and corporate ethics (with accompanying topics of risk management, compliance, and quality improvement) are included within the description of organizational ethics. The analysis focuses on the integration of clinical, professional, and organizational ethics in health care to foster culturally competent patient-centered care. The study considers relevant standards in the field, such as the Joint Commission’s accreditation standards for hospitals. The concerns that are discussed vary from theoretical issues, relevant principles, and practical topics.
HCE 690, Independent Study
HCE 701, Dissertation Hours
Other Courses Typically Adopted in the Healthcare Ethics Curriculum
This course educates students intending to embark on a health-care related career on a wide-range of legal issues in the context of the health care industry. Topics will include practitioner licensing, HIPAA, professional liability lawsuits, and a general overview of the court system. The course also covers current relevant issues before the courts, particularly with regard to Pennsylvania law, such as tort reform, peer review privilege, and arbitration agreements in healthcare-related cases.
Clinical Ethics Rotations
This Clinical Ethics Rotation consists of supervised placement in a hospital with reading and discussion concerning clinical ethical issues. Students become familiar with the clinical environment and accompanying ethics issues and attend (without actively participating in) the Hospital Ethics Committee. The Rotation requires 150 hours of time. Admission only by prior arrangement with the HCE Director.
HCE 646 is a pre-requisite for HCE 647. This Clinical Ethics Rotation consists of supervised placement in a hospital with reading and discussion concerning clinical ethical issues. A Mentored Apprenticeship occurs insofar as students shadow both ethics pre-consultations and ethics consultations and participate in the Hospital Ethics Committee. The Rotation requires 150 hours of time. Admission only by prior arrangement with the HCE Director.
HCE 646 and HCE 647 are prerequisites for HCE 681. The Internship Rotation consists of a supervised clinical ethics rotation as ethicist-in-residence in a health care facility. Duties include: education of facility personnel through formal lectures, in-service workshops, teaching rounds, and ethics research; development of policy on various ethical issues; and prospective and retrospective case consultation. A Mentored Apprenticeship occurs insofar as students move from shadowing to participating in, and at times leading, ethics pre-consultations and ethics consultations as well as participating in the Hospital Ethics Committee. The Rotation requires 150 hours of time. Admission only by prior arrangement with the HCE Director.
HCE 681 is a pre-requisite for HCE 682. The Internship Rotation consists of a supervised clinical ethics rotation as ethicist-in-residence in a health care facility. Duties include: education of facility personnel through formal lectures, in-service workshops, teaching rounds, and ethics research; development of policy on various ethical issues; and prospective and retrospective case consultation. A Mentored Apprenticeship occurs insofar as students move from shadowing to participating in, and at times leading, ethics pre-consultations and ethics consultations as well as participating in the Hospital Ethics Committee. The Rotation requires 150 hours of time. Admission only by prior arrangement with the HCE Director.
Online Graduate Certificate Program
HCE 550, Ethics Consultation & Consent. The course adopts a practical and structured approach on ethics consultation and consent including knowledge and process skills for ethics case analysis, decision making, and consultation. The approach combines traditional and emerging models to integrate ethics across the health care organization fostering culturally competent patient-centered care. Specifically, the course will discuss: autonomy & consent; Integrated Ethics (Veterans Health Administration – VHA); and the revised Core Competencies for Health Care Ethics Consultation (American Society for Bioethics and Humanities – ASBH). A course project is required.
HCE 552, Clinical/End of Life Ethics. The course provides an overview of Clinical Ethics, including the four principles in bioethics referred to as Principlism, in order to focus on the ethical issues in end of life care, such as withdrawing life-sustaining treatments. Specifically, the course will discuss: principles, theories, and practice in bioethics; clinical ethics & decision-making; and dominant issues in end of life ethics. A course project is required.
HCE 681, Clinical Internship (or, HCE 590, Independent Study). The course adopts the HCE Program for Clinical and Organizational Rotations in Ethics. The purpose is to offer a mentored Apprenticeship that involves shadowing and participating in ethics consultations, including the pre-consultation phase. Instead of a course project, participants will write a reflective essay of similar length about their experiences in the Apprenticeship. Instead of this course, if participants prefer they may opt for an Independent Study course (HCE-590) that is dedicated to writing a course project on a topic on health care ethics consultation relevant to each participant’s interests.
HCE 555, Conflict Mediation. The course provides an exploration of constructive approaches and processes that foster mediation and resolution of ethical conflicts in health care. Specifically, the course will discuss: multi-disciplinary mediation approaches; mediation approaches in bioethics; ethics facilitation in ethics consultation. A course project is required.
HCE 553, Safety, Systems, & Preventive Ethics. The course discusses the integration of ethics with the pervasive issues of patient safety and medical error in health care delivery in order to explain the significance of preventive ethics. Specifically, the course will discuss: patient safety & medical error; a systems-oriented approach as a feature of organizational ethics; the VHA’s preventive ethics model. A course project is required.
HCE 558, Quality & Leadership in Ethics. This integrative course seeks to align clinical, organizational, and professional ethics in health care with quality improvement and leadership across the organizational landscape, such as occurs in Integrated Ethics or Next Generation models for health care services. Specifically, the course will discuss the VHA’s Integrated Ethics as including ethics consultation, preventive ethics, and ethical leadership. The course is dedicated entirely to writing a course project.
HCE 590, Independent Study. An Independent Study course can be arranged for an individual student to study with a member of faculty on a topic of interest that typically is not listed in the curriculum.