Ethical Decision Making

The purpose of this course is to assist healthcare professionals to define the predominant ethical theories and principles used in health care, determine any legal and regulatory implications, and in collaboration with their colleagues and patients/clients, make effective decisions that determine the appropriate course of treatment, or refusal of such, for and with those for whom they care. In addition, members of the public may use this course to enhance their personal knowledge of the subject matter presented. 

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to: 

1. Describe the history of ethics, specifically as it relates to the physician-patient relationship.
2. Identify the historical events, including three human experimentation studies, that brought about measures to ensure patient rights.
3. Discuss the Karen Ann Quinlan case as it influenced national and state healthcare policies.
4. Review the impact of the Nancy Cruzan case on healthcare delivery and policy.
5. State the purpose of the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) of 1990 and the role of healthcare professionals.
6. Differentiate between the types of advance directives.
7. Discuss national ethical standards frameworks and their relationship to ethical decision making for patients.
8. Define terminology regarding bioethics, including the seven principles guiding medical ethical decision making.
9. Compare the five ethical theories as they relate to healthcare.
10. Review the basics of forming an analytical ethical framework.
11. Identify appropriate uses of ethical frameworks in the healthcare professional’s practice.
12. Outline Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development and their importance in understanding ethical decision making from a psychologic perspective.
13. Describe the complex ethical issues facing healthcare professionals today.
14. Describe elements of a usable policy statement and guidelines for ethical decision making in patient care.
15. Analyze the three case studies presented at the end of the study and identify the steps to resolve the ethical dilemma described in each.

This 15-hour continuing education course is available for download for professional development; if continuing education credit is desired, please see instructions included in eBook.

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