Ethics and Advocacy
This course explores a range of ethical dilemmas confronting clinicians, patients, families, and administrators that arise in acute care, ambulatory-care settings, long-term care facilities, and other institutions providing health care. Included is an examination of issues such as informed consent, competency/capacity to make decisions, refusal of treatment, withholding and withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, confidentiality, maternal-fetal conflicts and treatment, physician-patient relationships, research ethics, and implications of new genetic advances and technology. The goal is to integrate a didactic approach to the issues with the student’s own fieldwork placements and to provide students an ethical framework within which to consider dilemmas that may arise in the course of patient advocacy. In-depth discussion focuses on fundamental ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence/non-malfeasance, and justice, as well as specific legal concepts. Students are provided with a range of perspectives necessary to assess and resolve dilemmas that arise in clinical practice.