Course Information


Course Description

An examination of the major ethical theories on what is morally right and wrong, and the meaning of moral concepts (e.g., the concepts of right and duty). Focus is on ethical problems associated with the practice of medicine and biomedical research.

Course Objectives

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to issues at the intersection of health care and values, as well as the theories, principles, data, and literature addressing these issues. Students are required to critically interact with multiple disciplinary methods in order to reach their own conclusions about ethical behavior in health care. Interdisciplinary learning is furthered by assignments that require students to synthesize philosophy with other sources of relevant knowledge, particularly medicine and nursing.

Required Texts

This is an OER (Open Educational Resource) course. All required readings for this course are either open access, hosted on external websites, or available for free through the City Tech library to students of City Tech. See hyperlinks in the schedule.

Course Intended Learning Outcomes/Assessment Methods



1. Learn key theories and principles from philosophical ethics and health care ethics, and gain an appreciation for how philosophy can shed light on issues in health care.

1. Reading quizzes and homework assignments; objective questions and essays on exams. 


2. Acquire skills in philosophical reasoning, including constructing and analyzing arguments, recognizing ethical issues, and gaining an ability think critically about their own values and assumptions.

2. Class participation grade; case study; reflection assignments in homework. 


3. Integrate a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including the findings of science and the methods of philosophy, to arrive at practical answers for health care ethical problems and issues

3. Objective elements of the midterm and final exams; research requirement for case reports; homework and in-class assignments involving case analysis.


4. Reflect critically on personal values and assumptions, work together with other students to find mutually agreeable resolutions to ethical issues.

4.  Homework assignments requiring personal reflection; case analysis, in homework, on tests, and in class; class discussions.