This unit will be delivered in online mode using an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their current or future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.
Unit rationale, description and aim
Contemporary healthcare practitioners can face a range of clinical and extra-clinical ethical challenges. Such circumstances require responses informed by critical reflection and moral deliberation to inform advocacy and action. On the basis of key theoretical frameworks in ethics, this unit provides a broad-based introduction to applied ethics in healthcare. The unit aims to support health practitioners in the application of principles of healthcare ethics to specific issues arising in their workplace settings, to promote the common good through serving the proper goals of healthcare practice.
To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.
Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.
Explore the graduate capabilities.
|Learning Outcome Number||Learning Outcome Description|
|LO1||Identify and accurately explain selected theories and concepts in normative ethics and applied healthcare ethics|
|LO2||Critically analyse ways in which human dignity is supported in their healthcare practice and advocacy, within the context of the promotion of the common good|
|LO3||Apply selected debates in contemporary healthcare ethics to their practice, noting the key principles at stake, and implications that emerge|
Topics will include:
- The nature of ethical reflection and the sources of ethical theory
- Theories of normative ethics
- Healthcare, human dignity and the common good
- Four contemporary principles of healthcare ethics: autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, justice
- Issues in professional role morality: the professional virtues
- Issues in, and approaches to, healthcare resourcing
- Minority and vulnerable groups: e.g., indigenous; migrant and refugee; rural & regional; disability; children and elderly; gender; mental illness; cultural and religious difference
- Elective area focus chosen by students from several module options. This will include modules relating to the ethics of areas such as the following:
- Public Health and Advocacy
- Healthcare Research Ethics
- Emerging Healthcare Technologies
- Mental Health
- Beginning of Life
- Counselling Ethics
- Healthcare Administration
- End of Life
Learning and teaching strategy and rationale
This unit will be delivered in online mode using an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.
Assessment strategy and rationale
The assessment has been designed to facilitate students’ movement through the learning of key concepts and theories in ethics in the early weeks, the application of such learning to the healthcare context in the middle part of semester, and to encourage a deep engagement with this learning in the context of their particular healthcare profession by the end of the unit. The online test is designed to meet the first need, ensuring that the students have a firm grasp of key concepts and principles in the field. The discussion board task is designed to facilitate higher order processing of this material in moderated discussion with peers. Finally, the integrative essay provides students with an opportunity to synthesise key learnings by applying them to their immediate work context as healthcare practitioners.
Overview of assessments
|Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment Tasks||Weighting||Learning Outcomes|
Multiple choice/ short answer questions
Enables students to demonstrate their grasp of key theories and principles.
Analysis and Discussion Task
Enables students to build critical analysis and research skills
Enables students to critically integrate the major concepts and principles covered in the common and elective modules to ethical issues commonly arising in their professional roles.
|LO1, LO2, LO3|
Representative texts and references
Arras, J. et al. (2018). The Routledge Companion to Bioethics. London: Routledge.
Beauchamp, T.L. and Childress, J. F. (2012). 7th Ed. Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rachels, J, and S. Rachels. (2019). 9th ed. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Cribb, A. (2005). Health and the Good Society: Setting Healthcare Ethics in Social Context. Oxford: Clarendon.
Feiler, T, et al. (2018). Marketisation, Ethics and Healthcare: Policy, Practice and Moral Formation. Milton: Routledge.
Fisher, A. (2012). Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Loewy, E. (2002). Textbook of Healthcare Ethics. Dordrecht: Springer.
Martin, M. (2206). From Morality to Mental Health: Virtue and Vice in a Therapeutic Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mastroianni, A.C. (2019). The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Morgan, A, et al. (2016). Values and Ethics in Mental Health: An Exploration for Practice. London : Palgrave.