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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

PHIL 2311: Health Care Ethics

Students examine the ethical role of the health care provider within the Canadian health care system. Students critically assess a selection of ethically problematic situations that routinely challenge health care providers. The topical issues considered in this course include the relationship among health care providers; care of the elderly; genetic counselling; resource allocation; care of those diagnosed mentally ill; and the ethics of transplantation. These issues are explored within the context of moral theory, common ethical principles, and methodologies arising from interdisciplinary bioethics.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the ethical components of a variety of situations arising in a health care setting.
  • Critically assess these ethical components by applying ethical principles/moral theory.
  • Argue for a position/resolution with the recognition that there is likely more than one defensible position/resolution to an ethical challenge.

Course topics

PHIL 2311: Health Care Ethics includes the following eight lessons:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Health Care Ethics
  • Lesson 2: Professional Traditions and Obligations
  • Lesson 3: Ethical Theories and Ethical Decision-Making
  • Lesson 4: Provider-Patient Relationships and Obligations
  • Lesson 5: Ethically Valid Informed Consent
  • Lesson 6: Beginning of Life
  • Lesson 7: End of Life
  • Lesson 8: Medical Research with Human Participants

Required text and materials

No textbook is required for this course


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1 : Reflective Journals, Part A 10%
Assignment 2 : Case Study Analysis 20%
Assignment 3 : Argumentative Essay 30%
Assignment 4 : Reflective Journals, Part B 10%
Final Exam (mandatory) 30%
TOTAL 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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