Course Content and Outcome Guide for PHL 207

Course Number:
PHL 207
Course Title:
Ethical Issues in Aging
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Applies various ethical principles and critical frameworks to ethical issues and dilemmas that arise in working with older people in a variety of settings. Utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to investigating ethical issues and engaging in well-reasoned ethical discussions regarding matters of aging in order to become more proficient in ethical decision making. 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:
Explain how society€™s views of aging impact ethical decisions made and policies created in order toanalyze and resolve moral dilemmas associated with work with and for older adults.Compare a variety of ethical issues related to aging from both a traditional ethics perspective and a critical ethics perspective in order to understand and successfully collaborate with professionals and other diverse stakeholders.Investigate traditional meanings of autonomy in comparison to relational autonomy in order to facilitatebetter understanding and more ethical treatment of older adults.Identify and explain the moral issues that arise in healthcare and social service settings in which olderadults are involved in order to effectively contribute to programs, policies and social change strategies that impact the lives of older adults.Explore and analyze ways in which cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic factors affect the wayspeople age and perceive the aging process in order to effectively work with and for elders and otherstakeholders.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies will include some of the following:

  • Essays in the form of in-class exams, short papers, or term papers,

  • Short-answer exams,

  • Student presentations,

  • Class and small group discussions,

  • Attendance and participation.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

The course will focus on some or all of the following ethical questions that arise in caring for the elderly:

  • What should the aging and dying experience be like?

  • What is futile care?

  • Are assisted-suicide and euthanasia appropriate end-of-life care options?

  • What role should hospice and palliative care play in end-of-life care?

  • What is the appropriate use of artificial nutrition and hydration in end-of-life care?

  • How should decision-making conflicts be resolved in end-of-life care?

  • How should society structure health care for the elderly?

Competencies and Skills:
Students will learn to do the following:

  • Examine a clinical or social situation and identify ethical issues/dilemmas

  • Discuss clinical or social situations from ethical point of view

  • Devise and justify ethical responses to identified situations

  • Evaluate discussions of identified ethical issues/dilemmas