HEALTH 7000 - Ethical Challenges in Modern Health Care

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2022

This course provides students with ethical and philosophical tools to evaluate contemporary and emerging ethical challenges in modern health care and preventative health. These modern challenges occur both at the interpersonal level (e.g. practitioner-patient relations) and at broader levels (e.g. communities and populations). Modern health care and delivery is beginning to recognise the importance of more integrated or systems-based approaches to health. This more integrated approach to health was urged by the 2010 Lancet Commission report, Health professionals for a new century. That report also highlighted new infectious, environmental, and behavioural causes of poor health and the need for greater contextual understanding rather than a narrow technical health focus. This course reflects some of this emphasis. Because it addresses and compares health care at both the interpersonal and the population levels, it will be relevant to students interested in public and practitioner-patient health care, in synergies between those approaches, and in interprofessional teamwork that can overcome disciplinary silos. Examples of current challenges that may be covered in the course include the ethics of: preventative healthcare and health promotion; health nudging; domestic and international health advocacy; Ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, resource allocation; global justice and vulnerability. To allow students to address these current and emerging issues, the course introduces them to relevant core ethical theories/approaches such as consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics, the four principles approach; and to ethical concepts/principles such as beneficence, non-maleficence, respect for autonomy, justice, proportionality, necessity, patient-centred care, human dignity, and rights. The course teaches and encourages critical ethical thinking about cutting-edge health issues using hot-topic questions in health to enable students to ethically evaluate and develop strategies for addressing current and emerging health challenges at various levels of health care and prevention.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code HEALTH 7000
    Course Ethical Challenges in Modern Health Care
    Coordinating Unit Health Sciences Faculty Office
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Course Description This course provides students with ethical and philosophical tools to evaluate contemporary and emerging ethical challenges in modern health care and preventative health. These modern challenges occur both at the interpersonal level (e.g. practitioner-patient relations) and at broader levels (e.g. communities and populations).

    Modern health care and delivery is beginning to recognise the importance of more integrated or systems-based approaches to health. This more integrated approach to health was urged by the 2010 Lancet Commission report, Health professionals for a new century. That report also highlighted new infectious, environmental, and behavioural causes of poor health and the need for greater contextual understanding rather than a narrow technical health focus.

    This course reflects some of this emphasis. Because it addresses and compares health care at both the interpersonal and the population levels, it will be relevant to students interested in public and practitioner-patient health care, in synergies between those approaches, and in interprofessional teamwork that can overcome disciplinary silos.

    Examples of current challenges that may be covered in the course include the ethics of: preventative healthcare and health promotion; health nudging; domestic and international health advocacy; Ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, resource allocation; global justice and vulnerability.

    To allow students to address these current and emerging issues, the course introduces them to relevant core ethical theories/approaches such as consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics, the four principles approach; and to ethical concepts/principles such as beneficence, non-maleficence, respect for autonomy, justice, proportionality, necessity, patient-centred care, human dignity, and rights.

    The course teaches and encourages critical ethical thinking about cutting-edge health issues using hot-topic questions in health to enable students to ethically evaluate and develop strategies for addressing current and emerging health challenges at various levels of health care and prevention.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr David Hunter

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe a range of current and emerging health ethics challenges affecting both individual patients and populations
    2 Explain key ethical and philosophical theories and concepts in health ethics
    3 Apply ethical theories and principles to health-related case studies, including analysing ethical tensions between individual and population health
    4 Justify strategies for addressing current ethical challenges
    5 Communicate ethical analysis of current health issues
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1 - 4

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    3 - 4

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    5

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    N/A

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    1 - 5

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.

    1-5

    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    1-3

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    4 - 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The two set texts for the course are:
    Holland S. (2014). Public Health Ethics (2nd Edition) Cambridge: Polity Press.
    Kerridge, I., Lowe, M., & Stewart, C. (2009). Ethics and law for the health professions. Sydney: Federation Press.

    A course reader and web-links will be made available through MyUni. There will also be online weekly lectures and materials which the students are expected to engage with.

    Recommended Resources
    Additional reading, along with lecture notes and other teaching aids, will be made available to students electronically through MyUni.
    Online Learning

    Various course materials will be presented in MyUni. This will comprise the following:

    • Instructions/rubrics for assessments
    • Announcements
    • Discussion board
    • Lecture PowerPoints/other materials
    • Lecture recordings/videos
    • Links to required readings for lectures/tutorials
    • Links to additional/optional readings and websites
    • Online quizzes (formative and summative)
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course is targeted at postgraduate students in public health and various other health disciplines (e.g. allied health) who have had previous experience in research, essay writing, etc. Students will have – and will be encouraged to recall via the teaching and assessment activities – previous experience with and/or knowledge of health care and delivery. Accordingly, the learning will be pitched at students who have some such understanding of health practice and some of its moral issues, but who at the same time lack a detailed knowledge of health ethics and its tools.

    This course will introduce students to the identification, analysis and resolution of ethical issues in health care practice and policy. This course is being delivered using a flipped classroom teaching modality where each week students will be expected to engage with recorded lectures &/or written online material to introduce students to key topics, concepts and theories, and model the analysis and resolution of ethical issues. It is anticipated that this material will take between 1-2 hours each week to engage with.

    This core material will be developed on each week with a one hour tutorial to draw on this content to develop students’ capacity to synthesise relevant information and ideas, and make and critically evaluate arguments using logic, evidence and theory.

    This tutorial is then supplemented with a one hour weekly student seminar providing further extension around the weekly core topic.

    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
    Contact hours: 3 hours per week, plus readings, assignments etc.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Conceptual organisation:
    This course is organised around the principle of developing an understanding of ethics first in the context of individuals and then in the broader social context and then finally into the global context.

    As such the course will progressively equip students with ethical theories and principles by addressing specific ethical questions about specific health care practices and policies. Students will be presented with ethical issues at each layer of the model, beginning with questions about the ethics of practice. In relation to each issue, students will be asked to answer the recurring question ‘What should we do, and why?’

    To help the students answer this question, they will be taught to apply, and balance, different ethical approaches such as consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics and the four principles approach. At the end of the course, all of the theories will be briefly consolidated.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcomes being assesed
    Online MCQ Quiz  Formative 0% 2
    Seminar Presentation question & facilitation Summative 20% 1 - 5
    Tutorial Participation Summative 10% 1-5
    Essay Plan Summative 20% 1 - 5
    Essay Summative 50% 1 - 5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Not applicable
    Assessment Detail

    Online MCQ Quiz: This will consist of 10 multichoice questions drawn from the first three weeks content and will run in week four so that students can assess their understanding of the first portion of the course and calibrate their learning methods accordingly.

    Seminar presentation question & facilitation: Students will each be required to prepare a question for one of the weekly seminars with a short (up to 500 words) justification of why that is a relevant and important question to ask regarding the assigned topic. Seminar topics will be made available and will be assigned during the first week of classes, with student’s being assigned topics from week 2. They will at the seminar introduce their question and help facilitate the seminar. This will be worth 20% of their grade, with the written justification being worth 10% of their grade and the facilitation being worth 10%.

    Tutorial Participation: Active participation in tutorials will be assessed throughout the semester and will count for 10%.

    Essay Plan: Due just before the mid semester break each student will be required to submit a one page essay plan identifying the topic they intend to write their essay on, and the approach they intend to take. An example essay plan will be provided and the process explained in the seminar/tutorials. This will count for 20% of their grade.

    Essay: Due towards the end of semester each student will submit a 2500 word essay comprising of an ethical analysis on one of several topics. Sample questions will be provided, and students can also write on a topic of their choosing as long as they have sought permission and approval of the topic from the course coordinator.

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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