The Center for Ethics partners with clinical faculty from the School of Medicine in teaching this required third year course for medical students. The overall goal of this course is to introduce future physicians to the knowledge, skills, and moral attentiveness to enable them to carefully consider the ethical challenges that are a regular part of the practice of medicine. Ethics sessions are held in 5 departmental clerkships: Gynecology/Obstetrics, Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery. Kathy Kinlaw and Dr. Nicolas Krawiecki, Professor of Pediatric Neurology, co-direct this course. The course covers core competencies in clinical ethics and engages students’ own experiences in caring for patients and families. System ethics issues, training issues, and organizational ethics issues are also incorporated in many sessions.
Center for Ethics faculty co-teach each ethics session with clinical Faculty Fellows on-site where students are caring for patients.
PA 625: Biomedical Ethics
PA 625 is the medical ethics course presented to physician assistants. Its objectives are to enable students to identify the ways valuative issues, beliefs, and attitudes give rise to ethical dilemmas in health care. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to demonstrate a keen familiarity with the grammar of medical ethics, especially as that grammar involves notions about autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence and justice. They should be able to analyze ethical dilemmas in terms of the valuative and conceptual or “principled” tensions that precipitate and sustain them. Students should also be able to contemplate and develop remedies for ethical dilemmas in health care that are morally sensitive, legally acceptable, and professionally defensible. Students should be able to apply models of ethical decisionmaking to case studies.
The Center for Ethics has a long-standing collaborative relationship with the Nell Hodgson School of Nursing working with faculty in the teaching of ethics courses and incorporating ethics within the content of the nursing curriculum. Nursing ethics courses that Center faculty have taught or co-taught include Advanced Practice Nursing: Ethical, Legal, and Leadership Issues (NRSG503) and Health Care Ethics (NRSG708). In addition, Center faculty have been frequent guest lecturers on a variety of ethics-related issues for an number of undergraduate and graduate level nursing courses.
Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Responsible Clinical Research (EPI 593) prepares students enrolled in the masters in clinical research program at the School of Public Health to engage in theoretically and practically based discourse and decision making in ethical issues involved in clinical and biomedical research. Students learn to trace the evolution and content of 20th century Western ethical sensibilities and regulatory guidance bearing on clinical research. They will be able to identify significant ethical features of the design of clinical trials, especially as they pertain to the collection, analysis and management of data. Also, they will be able to discuss the ethical dimensions of research participant recruitment, informed consent, authorship and plagiarism. Special topics include ethical issues related to community research, conflicts of interest, and the ethical dimensions of animal experimentation and dual use.