Health Care Ethics


  • Aloysius Ochasi

Advisory Board

  • Allan (MKT)
  • Angiolillo (PHY)
  • Brennan (ENG)
  • Balotsky (MGT)
  • Croce (University Press)
  • Jursca-Keffer (FJI)
  • Kuykendall (IHS)
  • O'Sullivan (THE)
  • Sillup (PMK)
  • Sullivan (IHS)
  • Warren (HIS)
  • Zurbach (CHM)

Undergraduate Minors

HCE 400 Fieldwork: Clinical Bioethics (3 credits)

This course provides students with practical experience in clinical bioethics from a range of perspectives, including medical, ethical, legal, and financial. Students will attend Interdisciplinary Ethics Teaching Rounds with the Medical Interns/Residents at the Mercy Catholic Medical Center one day a week. During these rounds, they will examine cases from the general floors, the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and the Surgical Intensive Care Units (SICUs). They will also be given the opportunity to attend Institutional Ethics Committee meetings and Institutional Review Board (IRB) meetings and also to participate in clinical ethics consults as they arise during the course.

HCE 490 Internship Health Care Ethics (3 credits)

HCE 493 Health Care Ethics Research (3 credits)

HCE 494 Health Care Ethics Research (3 credits)

HCE 500 Topics in Bioethics (3 credits)

HCE 550 Topics in Bioethics (3 credits)

The course is an analysis of some of the important topics in bioethics. Students will familiarize themselves with the ethical questions surrounding major topics in contemporary bioethics. The course will focus on one or more of the following topics: medical research with human subjects, the new genetic medicine, social justice and the delivery of healthcare, organ transplantation, death and dying, and the development of techniques for human reproduction.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

HCE 551 Methodologcl Issues Bioethics (3 credits)

Bioethics represents a complex intellectual phenomenon. Although an established academic field, it still struggles to find a formal ad coherent methodology for the analysis of ethical problems triggered by advances in medicine and the life sciences. The course will, first, look at the historical roots of bioethics, concentrating, in particular, upon the original contribution of theologians and, later on, of philosophers to the field. It will then, discuss the dominant theories in contemporary bioethics, among others: principalism in its various version, rights-based theories, casuistry, virtue ethics and the ethics of care.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

HCE 552 Theological Issues Bioethics (3 credits)

This course will introduce the student to the basic theological concepts, frameworks, and analyses that have been used by both Catholic and Protestant theologians in their discussions of bioethics. After reviewing the various relationship between religion and medicine and the role that the theological reflection can play in bioethics, several topics will be discussed and analyzed in depth. Topics such as assisted reproduction technologies, abortion, genetic control, care of severely handicapped neonates, death and dying, and the meaning and application of "quality of life" to contemporary issues will be discussed in both lecture and seminar formats.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

HCE 553 Phil Eth Theories in Bioethics (3 credits)

This course will study from a philosophical perspective the various ethical theories that have influenced the development of bioethics. The course will use a historical method and concentrate, among others, on the ethical theories of virtue, teleology and deontology in their historical contexts. These theories will then be placed in the context of the development of contemporary bioethics in the United States and Europe.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

HCE 570 Clinical Bioethics & Rel Trad (3 credits)

HCE 571 Healthcare Disparities (3 credits)

This course will define the major health care disparities that exist in our society (gender, race, ethnicity, income, education, disability, geographical location and sexual orientation), how to measure disparities, the impact on individual and societal health, how to resolve disparities through cross cultural respect, current issues and future directions.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

HCE 572 Social Justice and Bioethics (3 credits)

This course will examine how social justice is addressed in bioethics. Attention will be paid to the relationship between micro-ethics and macro-ethics. Different theories of justice will be presented along with specific moral problems facing contemporary health care. These may include globalization, recourse allocation, rationing, access to health care, preventative medicine and public health (e.g., which may include how we responsibly attend to epidemics, outbreaks, and/or bioterrorist attacks), compensation for organs or participation in research protocols (e.g., egg donation for SCNT and stem cell technology), and managed care and the role of evidence-based medicine. In addition, the course may include a section on how decisions are made from a social perspective on research agendas (i.e. why do we/should we pursue high-tech, high-priced medicine versus allocating those funds to do other initiatives).

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

HCE 573 Death & Dying:Decision Making (3 credits)

This course surveys ethical issues and norms that pertain to healthcare for patients who are near the end of life. Various topics will be covered such as: extraordinary/ordinary means, medical futility, pain management, hospice, palliative care, living wills/advance directives, Do Not Resuscitate orders, Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care and current topics in end-of-life decision making.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

HCE 574 Spirituality and Healthcare (3 credits)

HCE 600 Fieldwork Clinical Bioethics (3 credits)

Individuals will arrange specific types of clinical bioethical field work in an approved health care environment. Students need the permission of the program Director before registering. This course is designed to meet individual professional goals and may only be taken once during a student’s completion of this degree program.

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

HCE 601 Issues in Neonatology (3 credits)

HCE 700 Integrative Capstone Bioethics (3 credits)