Wayne State establishes new graduate certificate in health care ethics

Due to the increasingly urgent and complex ways in which moral and political issues bear on health care, global health, and public health law and policy, there has been a growing need for ethical training among professionals in these fields.

In response to this increasing demand, Wayne State University has launched a new graduate certificate in health care ethics. This program, which will offer courses starting in the fall of 2020, is housed in the philosophy department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The graduate certificate in health care ethics is an online, four course program that is designed to combine academic rigor with practical relevance. Courses in the program cover both general theories such as of normative ethics and jurisprudence, as well as applications to specific ethical, legal, and policy questions in health care.

Courses include Justice and Rights in Health Care, and Ethics, Law, and Health. All courses are taught by widely respected full-time faculty in the Department of Philosophy, all with Ph.D. degrees and some with both a J.D. and Ph.D.

The certificate program is an opportunity for health care professionals seeking to enhance their credentials as well as students looking to further their educational and professional opportunities.

What is health care ethics and why is it important?

Health care ethics spans a set of fundamental and interdisciplinary topics about how people who are responsible for the health of others should act. This includes not only medical care providers but also public health administrators, elected leaders, and any of us when we're making medical decisions on behalf of loved ones. Health care ethics is important because health is important, and decisions about health deserve our investment. One such form of investment is gaining concepts and skills that can assist us in making ethical choices related to health and health care.

Why now?

The global COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the urgent need for professionals and leaders with an understanding of health care ethics. This pandemic has prompted many questions for which an understanding of ethics is useful. What should doctors and hospital administrators do when resources like ventilators become scarce? What actions are democratic governments entitled or required to take in order to limit the spread of a contagious disease? What duties do you owe your fellow citizens to help protect their health? And what conceptual tools and frameworks should be used in making these decisions?

The certificate program welcomes applicants holding at least a bachelor's degree in fields allied with health care, law or philosophy. Admission is also open to students pursuing other degrees at Wayne State University, or other institutions.

For information visit go.wayne.edu/HealthCareEthics.

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