Medical Ethics

Fall  2002


The views expressed here are by students of this course.  Their words are unedited.  There is material placed in bold by the instructor to highlight certain concerns.


FINAL ESSAYS on the  Course Itself





1.      Which of the issues covered this semester has been the most important and why so? 

       The issue that has been the most important is related to the topic “A Claim of a Right to Health Care”.   These are issues that every politician brings to the platform during every election year filled with promises for the American public.

      Health care and its concomitant cost amidst technological advancement continue to soar moving further away from those in need.   Health care has become a commodity.


2.      Which of the issues covered this semester has meant anything to you personally and why so?

     “The Allocation of Resources”: Scarcity and Triage” as an issue has personal implications.

My wife has had a radical nephroctomy (removal of right kidney) approximately two years ago.  From a health perspective she is doing fine; in the future should she need dialysis or any kind of organ transplant, the bureaucratic controls implied in this module has prepared me for such eventualities.


3.      Why are not more people aware of these troublesome questions, issues or problems?

      Having worked in a health care environment it has come to my attention that individuals are only concerned with issues until it affects them personally.  People are more concerned with daily living and its economies and do not give any thought to issues that are outside of their immediate realm.


4.      Now that you have been educated as to these issues in Biomedical Ethics in what way will they have any consequence in your life?

     It is my intention to pursue a nursing career. Having been exposed to such a course, the content will definitely assist me in making more informed choices and decisions.


5.      Are you in a better position now to think about and handle these issues using ethical principles?

     I am in a better position to be more analytical in my thought processes, where previously I may have been egoistic in my views, now I am in a better position to incorporate ethical values.  I am in a better position to transcend from the subjective to the objective.




FINAL ESSAYS on the  Course Itself

I personally think bioethics matters because people should know how to base their decisions when dealing with or in the medical field. I feel bioethics puts you on track and shows you how your decisions could be affecting a person in so many different aspects and with this your decision making abilities will broaden. I feel that studying bioethics helps a lot because, not only does it help with your decision making, but it shows you how to deal with people on another level with meaning and a basis for what you are doing for them and how.


My experience in being a student of Biomedical Ethics has led to the development of a new trend of thought. I am now able to move from an Egoistic approach to one which involves a more principled approach when dealing with ethical or moral dilemmas.
Studying such material enhances one's analytical skills which could be applied to most situations when attempting to determine which act could be classified as "good" or "bad".


Biomedical Ethics is the study of moral issues concerning human health and life. Before I took this course, I felt confused and lost sometimes when I faced such moral issues. That was the main reason why I took this course. Now I feel more confident because I learned how to think and act based on moral theories. But I still need to practice moral thinking much more and deepen it.
By studying such matters, a person could get a guide for conduct to solve moral dilemmas and know whether what s/he is doing is morally right or not. Also, s/he could pass egoism and know the values of others.

Being in this class of Bioethics have opened my eyes. I now know that when pursing any situation what kind of moral principle I'm using and therefore allows me to look at the situation better. I feel bioethics helps as a guide to helping you to make moral decisions not based on your gut feeling but on something that is principled. I advise for everyone to take such a course because they in turn will know how to treat people and deal with situations and also know why it is people or others act the way they do.


bioethics is applying ethical principles to the medical field. the purpose is to have a guideline for making medical decisions especiually the tough medical dilemmas. It is very useful for people to study becasue it will equip them with some moral guidance to make decisions taht will bring about good to others instead of making decisins taht will benefit only the individual making teh decision.


Biomedical Ethics to me is the study of ethical issues regarding the medical world. This topic allows us to explore the different ways of approaching a medical situation and identifies moral principles we use in various cases. I believe that studying this material better educates a person who may enter the medical field, as the person may now be aware of the ethical principles he/she is prone to. Also we are now open to various views that we have explored which provides us with an edge of experience in analyzing medical situations that we may face and how we should try to deal with them. Educating ourselves in the moral principles exposes us to dificult situations that people in the medical field will constantly face, and therefore can better equip us to handle such a case, with the proper background we were exposed to.

I feel the course was perfect. I got everything I wanted out of t. I learned so much and at the same time heard so many views of other people which opened my mind a lot. I feel that there waas a lot of effort put into the class but i also feel it was needed. We got to understand the topics better and realize things we did and did not know before in depth. I want to be in the medical field and this course taught me a whole lot. I feel great about haven taken this course and feel it will help me in the future in my career along with the way i make my decisions.


Personally speaking, the course was so well structured that I find it difficult to cite an area or aspect that was missing.
I found that learning the ethical principles and applying them to everday moral dilemmas assisted greatly with my understanding of the principles. In addition discussion was healthy and I was exposed to differing views on similar issues.
A course of this nature I would recommend that all health related programs include it in their syllabus. It prepares you for the practical world as opposed to be only exposed to a theoretical framework.


To me the things that seemed to work the best were the online book, homework assignments and feedback from you and also the students. Actually I took this course because it supposes to be a requirement for my degree but I just found out it wasn’t. I don’t regret any minute of it. In course I learned everything form what is moral to why they’re moral. I am definitely in the position now to go back and answer certain questions that once pondered in my mind and affected everything in my life.


First of all, both online textbook and printed one were very helpful to me. They were comprehensive and understandable even though I had little philosophy background. They had so much useful and essential information regarding Biomedical Ethics. Also, the discussion was thought-provoking and broadened my view. I learned how a question could be answered differently using the same ethical principle. Concerning finding answers to moral questions that I sought, I could find them using a moral principle. The effort that went into this course was definitely worth it.


The course was very well structured. I don't feel like there is anything that could make it better. I put great effort into the course, which proved to be was very worth it and rewarding. The harder I worked the more my understanding increased. The discussions are an excellent way to express our views and have others respond to us to get a different perspective on our own opinions. It was very useful to separate the ethical views as they were assigned, since we not only learned more about the principles we were assignmed to, but we were able to see the different approaches one could take to answer the very same question. I think that greatly broadened my knowledge and provoked more thought in me regarding the topics we discussed than I actually expected. I believe all the objectives have been met, as I have a better understanding on ethical principles available in the field, and I also realized in which category of ethical beliefs I fell into, in our analysis of different cases.








Part 1: What did you like best about this course?

              The subject matter was very interesting and will impinge on my daily live at various stages of my life cycle.   It is still unbelievable that I was able to acquire this vast amount of knowledge through distant learning.


Part 2:  What specific things do you think could improve in the structure or design of the course and learning activities?

              The only comment in relation to the structure that I have found a little repetitive that can reduce discussion/interaction is related to Modules#9, #10 and #11.  By the time you arrive at module #11 most of the material would have been exhausted or covered.


Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions?

            As I have found it is a course that requires you to dedicate some time. It should not be taken for granted. Maybe establishing time frames to be on line will assist with discussion/interaction.


Part 4: What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?)

            I think the pace and sequence was adequate. Maybe preparation for the group project could be introduced during the Mid-Course Evaluation period, or use a few of the slots allocated for case studies to prepare for the group project.


Part 5: What changes would suggest is made to the quantity of work required for this course?

            Any changes to the quantity of work will defy the course objective.


Part 6: How would the course is improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course?

            I found your communication and response to questions posed as being very timely. I also appreciated your understanding and at times prompting and encouragement.


Part 7: What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor?

            I have found the course to be very informative and a course of this nature should be offered as a perquisite for Health related programs.