This course is concerned with ethical problems or issues that are associated with the practice of the health-care professions. Both normative bioethical theories and law must respond to these health care ethical problems. The emphasis is on the analysis and critique of some of the major bioethical theories, and their application to some of the major health care problems and issues found at the intersection of law and bioethics. The course begins with a history of bioethics as a multidisciplinary discipline, and a consideration of the competing normative and descriptive analyses of core concepts such as "health" and "disease". It then considers the following within various ethical models: the problem of suffering; the health care provider-patient relationship; the doctrine of informed consent; surrogate decision making; competence and its assessment; euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide; refusal, withholding of life-saving treatment, and withdrawing of life-saving treatment; conflict of interest in research ethics; and health care policy as it relates to resource allocation and rationing at the bedside.
Video conference only
Course Section: A