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Electives - Humanities and Ethics in Medicine
New Frontiers in Clinical Ethics and Law
Elective Number: (Oasis E18) 3529
Rotation Supervisors: Donna Chen, MD & Richard Bonnie LLB
Coordinator: Carrie Gumm (firstname.lastname@example.org) 5th floor Barringer room 5380
Duration: 2 weeks
Available: Rotation 12b (2/20-3/4) Class of 2017
Time to Report: 1st meeting for medical students will be at 9am on Day 1 at SOM Center for Biomedical Ethics & Humanities; interprofessional seminar meets 5:50-7:50pm at the Law School.
Place to Report: Law School or Center for Biomedical Ethics & Humanities
Attendance: Attendance at elective activities is mandatory.
Number of students per rotation: Min 5/ Max 10
Course Description: This intensive interdisciplinary seminar brings medical students and law students together for two-weeks each spring to explore ethical and legal challenges created by the array of stakeholders who affect, and are affected by, our complex healthcare system and our nation's changing healthcare environment. Through multidisciplinary readings and in-depth discussions across disciplinary boundaries, students will learn how other professionals think and will jointly assess challenges facing tomorrow's healthcare system, exploring various resources available to address these challenges and propose solutions.
Due to Professor Chen & Bonnie's
schedules this year, the seminar will meet from 5:50-7:50pm at the Law
School. We are currently scheduled
to meet Monday
- Friday the first week and Monday - Thursday the second week, but we will
not use all of those days. There will also be a meeting or two JUST FOR
MEDICAL STUDENTS in the Center for Biomedical Ethics & Humanities at the Medical
School. There will be seminar preparation and self-directed learning
seminar meetings. Students will write a series of short reaction papers & participate
in group discussions.
Questions we have addressed in previous years include:
• Defining death has always been controversial, should we give individuals more say over when they should be considered “dead?”
• To what extent should legislatures decide the proper scope of medical practice, displacing the judgment of the profession or of individual practitioners – as exemplified by recent policies affecting physician-assisted suicide?
• In the push for evidence-based decision-making, clinical trials using “sham surgery” arms are becoming more common – do the benefits of having information derived from such experiments outweigh the risks of the surgery to the individuals participating in the experiments?
• As the population ages and dementia becomes more prevalent, how much weight should be given to choices and preferences expressed by individuals regarding their health care or research participation before they lost their capacity to make these decisions?
• Research aimed at understanding and treating memory disorders implicates fundamental notions of personal identity (e.g., we have the ability to “erase” and “implant” memories—but, who are we if not a collection of our good and bad memories?) and cognitive enhancement (e.g., should physicians prescribe medications that enhance cognition to individuals who do not have a cognitive disorder, but just want that edge?).
• And, finally, who gets to decide how we move forward in these areas? Who should be accountable to whom? And, what do the answers say about the future of medicine as a profession?
1. Critically analyze topical issues at the frontier of clinical care, law, policy, and ethics;
2. Discuss norms and ideas across disciplinary boundaries and learn how other professionals think;
3. Reflect critically and creatively on the current status of the medical profession in society, the ethical challenges created by the complex array of stakeholders who affect, and are affected by, the healthcare system, and the professional values worth carrying forward into tomorrow’s healthcare and legal systems.
4. Create interdisciplinary ways of communicating important concepts and practices to the general public and to policy makers.