Medical Ethics in Society - UICMC

PREREQUISITES AND PLACEMENT IN THE CURRICULUM: Students must have completed their M2 year.

PURPOSE: In addition to ethical and legal responsibilities in direct patient care, many professional medical organizations impose broad social responsibilities on physicians. These responsibilities include, for example, duties to care for the poor and advocacy for social changes that will improve public health. Some physician organizations take direct responsibility for social advocacy. This course will review the nature and scope of physician’s responsibilities in key areas: research with humans and animals, physicians’ relationship to the state, and improved health care for the indigent. The goal of this review is to articulate a theory of social responsibility for physicians. The course draws on historical examples and contemporary issues currently under debate.

•  Identify social responsibilities of physicians as identified by professional organizations
•  Identify key debates concerning physical involvement in social advocacy and relationships to the state
•  Identify key ethics standards in research with human beings.

INSTRUCTIONAL FEATURES: : This is a two-week course. The course will be conducted largely in seminar format. It will consist of discussions of articles from the professional literature, case studies, small group projects, videos, guest speaker, and solo final presentations. Some time in the course will be set aside for independent review of literature, reading, and preparation of presentations.
Texts/readings: The Program Director will compile a course book that will contain statements from medical organizations, select articles form professional literature, declarations by professional organizations, research protocols, national health proposals, and all the materials required in the course.

ASSESSMENT: Evaluation will consist of:
•  required attendance at all sessions;
•  preparation of one ‘letter to the editor’;
•  in-class small group presentation on a proposed national health plan;
• solo thirty-minute presentation on approved topic.


Program Number: ELEC 633
Location: UICMC
Program Director: T. Murphy, M.D., Jennifer Justice
Telephone: 312-996-3595, 312-996-6738
Duration: 2 Weeks
Night Call: No
Weekends: No

Students Accepted: Min. 6 Max. 15
Housestaff Used as Faculty: No
Lectures/Conferences/Faculty Contact: Yes
Laboratory/Independent Study:
Total Hours /Week: 40