Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
PHL 205
Course Title:
Biomedical Ethics
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Promotes applying ethical concepts to biomedical situations and ethical dilemmas, including those confronted by nurses and other health care workers. Explores topics including patient rights, informed consent, end of life care, genetic engineering, and health care policy. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students completing this course should be able to:

  • Identify and explain the moral issues that often arise in a health care setting (i.e., paternalism, confidentiality, informed consent, conscientious refusal, and whistle-blowing) in order to define one€™s responsibility within the medical community.
  • Analyze situations involving moral issues that arise in the relationship between nurses and clients, other health care professionals, the institutions in which they work, as well as public policy, in order to critically assess one€™s own conceptions of moral action in the contemporary medical field.
  • Apply the concerns raised by major ethical theories to the medical context in order to analyze and resolve moral dilemmas in medicine.
  • Recognize and reflect on the impact of legal, cultural and religious considerations on the resolution of practical and moral problems in order to respectfully communicate with others whose opinions might differ from one€™s own.

Course Activities and Design

This course will be presented by means of lecture and discussion sessions.  Guest speakers and audio-visual presentations will be included when appropriate.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Grades will be based on:

  • Take home and/or in-class quizzes.
  • Several short position papers or essays designed to encourage the development and presentation of the student's views on issues discussed in the course.
  • Participation in classroom discussions.