Applied Ethics for Clinical Practice II

This module will provide students with the opportunity to explore and understand the latest developments in clinical ethics and to acquire a set of skills that will enable them to make ethically sound decisions in their everyday practice.

This module is designed for healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, health care managers, medical students, medical and pharmaceutical researchers, radiographers, health care educators, chaplains, medical volunteers, hospice personnel and social workers). Clinical ethics is considered to be the most important part of medical ethics today. It has its roots in clinical practice, in medical and healthcare education, and in the wider social perceptions on what is morally acceptable in medicine. Clinical ethics is the most vibrant field of applied ethics because its theories are rapidly tested in clinical reality by patients, professionals and ethics committees in making ‘good decisions’ in difficult circumstances.

START DATEw/c 31st January 2022
MAJOR CODE 

MDSC401

DURATION Second semester
CREDITS 30
CONTACT hlscpd@liverpool.ac.uk

The aims of this course are:

  • To examine, appraise and analyse the meaning and role of key ethical - concepts in health care. 
  • To examine, appraise and analyse new ethical dilemmas caused by technological, pharmaceutical and biomedical advances. 
  • To investigate and elucidate specific ethical problems in various clinical settings (neonatal, oncology, mental heath, palliative care). 
  • To examine, appraise and analyse ethical decision-making in different life-stages (from reproductive choices to the end of life).

Students will explore the latest developments in this field and are invited to contribute to teaching with their own professional experience, moral feelings and ideas. They will learn how to investigate and elucidate specific ethical problems in various clinical settings (e.g. neonatal, oncology, mental heath, palliative care). Experienced clinicians and ethicists will guide their way to what has been called "Hippocrates’ labyrinth". Students will learn how critical reasoning can uncover the constitutive assumptions of clinical cases, the various perspectives of people involved, and thus lead to a better understanding of what is at stake. They will also appraise and analyse ethical decision-making in different life-stages (from reproductive choices to the end of life).

In comparison to the first module this module allows students to apply theories to a greater depth and to contextualise both in their own practice, and the practice of their peers across a range of clinical scenarios. Current topics of critical debate will be presented by experts, who are working at the heart of these ethical challenges within the healthcare system of todays society.  Students are invited to contribute to teaching with their own professional experience, moral feelings and ideas. Students will learn how critical reasoning can uncover the constitutive assumptions of clinical cases, the various perspectives of people involved, and thus lead to a better understanding of what is at stake. They will also appraise and analyse ethical decision-making in different life-stages (from reproductive choices to the end of life).

The summative assessment for this module has two parts: a critical appraisal and critical reflection of a choice of topics (in total 3000 words), and a 3000 word case study report, mirroring a real-life report exercise.

In order to accommodate different professional and personal needs, the programme has a flexible structure. There are 3 grouped full days of face to face teaching, when the students have the opportunity to attend the lectures and workshops, to engage with ethicists and health professionals and to share their experiences and ethical dilemmas. 

Liverpool’s School of Medicine is ideally located for access to some of the UK’s leading specialist clinical units. Students will have the advantage of being taught by ethicists together with clinical experts in hospitals such as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, The Palliative Care Institute Liverpool, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, and The Walton Centre, the UK’s only specialist hospital trust dedicated to neurological services.

Students also benefit from the teaching expertise within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences research institutes and research links with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and surrounding medical institutions.

 

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