LAW 515 - Healthcare Ethics

Instructor: Laura Howard
March 16 - May 6 Spring 2020
Section 101/201 3 units • Graded • Online
This course explores many challenging moral questions related to situations encountered by health care professionals. For example: What rights and responsibilities come with the role of healthcare provider? Should the healthcare provider always disclose to a patient the full truth about his or her diagnosis? Should diagnosis and treatment errors be disclosed to patients? Under what circumstances is it morally permissible to break patient confidentiality? Why does moral distress arise in medical professionals who regularly deal with futility of treatment cases? Should one have absolute rights over one's body (e.g. with respect to euthanasia) or are there other moral considerations that limit such freedom? What is the proper justification for allocation of moderately scarce resources? Should everyone have an absolute right to health care, and who should provide access? As we explore these and many other questions, we will learn about some major moral theories along the way, with an emphasis on applying them to real world moral problems. This course will give you skills for recognizing the scope and force of an ethical conflict when it occurs and ways of becoming more reflective and open-minded about differing moral views. I also hope to provide you with the skills to cogently defend your own principles and lobby for changes in regulations when there is a perceived need. The skills acquired in philosophical argument are indispensable for engaging with the evolving moral discussions surrounding medical ethics.
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