Interdisciplinary MA in Health Care Ethics

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies – Health Care Ethics

Program Description
The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Health Care Ethics is designed to provide students with an enriched ethical knowledge base that they can put to work in health care administration or in interdisciplinary research, teaching, and practice. Our courses move students from theoretical underpinnings in bioethics to real-time clinical moral decision-making. Our M.A. program is unique in its examination of race, gender, and cultural influences on health care as well as the incorporation of an ethically sound appreciation of difference and diversity. This interdisciplinary focus makes our classes an excellent supplement for students pursuing dual degrees.

What is Health Care Ethics?
Health Care Ethics -- also known as Bioethics or Medical Ethics -- is a field which examines the intersection between life sciences, health care, philosophy, and law. As such, it seeks to grapple with the often difficult and nuanced discussions brought about by advances in medical practice and technology. It also relates to personal or policy level decision making in health care situations. Bioethics can be thought of  as a branch of applied ethics, but given the technical nature of many of the discussions, philosophical methods alone are generally insufficient to reach satisfactory conclusions. The development of Bioethics as an interdisciplinary field helps integrate insight from multiple approaches in order more adequately to address all aspects of these difficult questions.

More generally, Medical Humanities focuses on how the incorporation of humanities disciplines improves the experience both for care givers and care recipients. This wide ranging field draws on the humanities (literature, philosophy, history and religion) and fine arts (literature, music, visual arts, theater and film) as well as social sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology) to address diverse aspects of health care. Everything from the perceptual skill development of art criticism or the self-reflective content creation of literature or music can bring exciting new perspectives to our understandings of the human interaction with health care systems.

Program Requirements
The curriculum consists of 33 credit hours and can be completed on either a full or part time basis. Please see the program website for details on schedules and elective options.

Core Classes include:

BETH 621: Ethical Theory

Recent developments in ethical theory, such as examinations of the status of moral facts; moral realism; impartiality and personal attachments; or moral agency.

BETH 680: Foundations of Bioethics

Grounding in the major theories and methods of bioethical decision-making, including contemporary controversies about the role of theory, principles, cases, narrative, and virtues.

BETH 681: Current Controversies in Health Care Ethics

Topics in health care ethics currently attracting the most attention in both professional and public discussions. A variety of viewpoints on these topics will be considered.

BETH 682: Gender, Race, and Culture in Health Care

Examines ways social groupings and systems affect the kind of health care needed and the kind of care that people receive. Addresses both biases and stereotypes, and empirical claims about biologically-based differences.

BETH 683: Health Care, Community, and Justice

Examines theories of justice and equality as they apply to issues in health care delivery, considers explanations for why disparities exist, and explores practical ways that communities have addressed inequalities.

BETH 684: Clinical Ethics (includes rounding)

Application of ethical principles, virtues, and cases in the context of clinical care, with a practical approach toward ethics consultation and conflict resolution.

BETH 685: Integrative Bioethics: Self and Other in Theory and Practice

Capstone seminar for Bioethics MA program in form of collaborative independent study. Students produce a culminating project, whose development and final formal presentation they share with others in seminar format.

Who Should Apply?
Our program serves post-baccaluarate students, those who wish to pursue a dual degree with or enrollment in a professional school, and professionals wishing to transition to new roles in their organizations. We also work to accommodate students in other disciplines who wish to take some or many of our classes in their degree progress. Most BETH classes are cross-listed with PHIL and are available to the University community without prerequisite.

Click for further information or email , Director of Graduate Studies, 502-852-0451.