PHIL 321

Medical Ethics

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective August 1, 1998 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

Is it ever right to try to hasten a patient's death? Should people ever be given medical treatment against their will? How should we decide who will get access to scarce medical resources (like organ transplants)? Do people have a right to get the care they need, even if they can't pay for it? This course will use ethical theories and theories of justice to explore these questions and others like them. It is intended to be helpful not only to (present or future) health care practitioners, but also to anyone who wants to think about these issues, which confront us in our roles as patients and as citizens whose voices can contribute to the shaping of health care policies.

Learning outcomes

General

  • Compare and contrast major moral theories, theories of justice, and applied accounts specific to medical ethics.
  • Focus most acutely on the centrality of justification for claims made in these accounts.
  • Apply, at an advanced collegiate level, the resulting understandings to an analysis of the moral dilemmas inevitably facing all members of the medical community, from provider to patient to citizen concerned to contribute to the shaping of health care policies.
  • Assess case studies, comparing various formal codes of ethics with accounts developed in the course, focusing on issues such as euthanasia, patient consent, patient privacy, etc.
  • Use the work of the course to reflect on personal beliefs and attitudes about these central issues, and to construct ways, as a citizen involved with the medical community, to act morally on those beliefs.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

  • Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
  • Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  • Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  • Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.