Course Number: 90-708
Health Care Ethics
This course will survey several important ethical issues, problems and dilemmas that arise in the context of the delivery of healthcare. It will begin with discussions that focus upon the nature of ethics in general and applied ethics in particular. The goal of this introductory portion of the course will be to establish a healthcare decision making framework that will be used during the remaining sections of the course. Topics introduced here will include: theoretical and applied ethics, moral pluralism, principalism, the differences between absolutism, relativism and pluralism and prudential reasoning as a tool of ethical analysis in healthcare.
The specific healthcare areas that will be discussed and analyzed from a normative perspective include: determining the beginning and the end of human life, the ethical questions surrounding abortion, end of life issues such as euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, various reproductive issues, medical research ethics, ethics in the medical treatment of infants and children, transplantation issues and the ethics of medical genetics.
The course will proceed by means of lectures, small and large group discussions and the analysis of well-known essays and case studies in healthcare ethics.