Healthcare Ethics

This minor focuses on moral values and ethical dilemmas in regard to health, disease and healthcare. You’ll study these values and ethical queries, absorbing a diversity of approaches with an attention to global concerns. You’ll also learn to think, write and speak clearly and critically, clarifying the moral values in the context of globalization and human rights.

Minoring in healthcare ethics will allow you to analyze and reflect on fundamental human conditions, such as health, well-being and human flourishing—but also illness, disability and suffering. The emphasis on values such as respect for human life, human dignity, human rights and social justice will guide your development, encourage you to serve others, contribute to your profession and reinforce values that give meaning to life and work.

The minor is of particular interest if you are planning to work with patients and health professionals and will pursue a career in healthcare, nursing and health sciences.

Advantages of Minoring in Healthcare Ethics

  • In programs across the university, you'll take Bridges courses or other ethics courses. These courses can be included in (and even grandfathered into) the minor program.
  • All required courses satisfy requirements in the Bridges curriculum.


Program Information

Our minor in Healthcare Ethics allows you to engage in ethical queries and approaches to global concerns as they relate to health, disease, and healthcare.

Program Type


Required Credit Hours


Minor Requirements

  • BRDG 105 Introduction to Ethical Reasoning or HCE 255 Healthcare Ethics
  • HCE 410 Who Decides When I Am Ill?
  • HCE 320 Medical Research: Guinea Pig or Duty to Participate? or HCE 330 Global Bioethics 
  • HCE/AFST 240-African Perspectives to Bioethics
  • HIST 222- Flatlined: History & Politics of U.S. Healthcare
  • HCE 201W- Religious Bioethics
  • HCE 320- Medical Research: Guinea Pig or Duty to Participate?
  • HCE 330- Global Bioethics
  • HCE 255- Healthcare Ethics
  • GLBH 185- Introduction to Global Health
  • GLBH 200- Disparities in Healthcare
  • GLBH/COMM 399- Global & Cultural Issues in Health Communication
  • COMM 203W- Communication & Professional Civility
  • ENGL 251W- Nursing & Narrative
  • ENGL 316W- Health Care & Literature
  • PHIL 220- Philosophy of Death & Living
  • PHIL 252- Health Care Ethics: Philosophy
  • PHBA 340W- Pharmacy Law & Ethics
  • SOCI 207- Sociology of Health & Illness
  • THEO 253- Health Care Ethics: Theology
  • UPNS 411W- Nursing Ethics Across the Lifespan.  This course is only open to nursing students.

Independent Study

To undertake an independent study, you can select a particular area of healthcare ethics in connection to your personal or professional interest—e.g., assisted reproduction, assisted suicide, bioengineering, biodiversity, biopolitics, chronic disease, designer babies, disaster ethics, doping, end-of-life care ethics, euthanasia, food ethics, genetic modification, international research, justice, migration, nanotechnology, neuro-ethics, obesity, pandemics, pharmacy ethics, right to health, sports, synthetic biology, transhumanism and transplantation ethics.

The study will involve assignments for readings and writings as well as producing a substantial course essay.