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IDIS 483 Applied Health Ethics: Clinical, Organizational, and Research Perspectives

 Fall 2023 (Blended), Winter 2024 (Blended)
 Year 4 Optional Course
 10-11 hours/week
 3 units
On-Campus Course

IDIS 483 is an applied health ethics course that uses course readings, interactive classroom discussion, and case-based active learning opportunities to prepare students to navigate the complex ethical challenges they will face as they enter diverse professional roles in the health system. Course material and discussions will equip students with ethical concepts, techniques of ethical deliberation and reasoning, and knowledge of contextual health-system factors such as relevant legislation, policy, and professional college standards. Through individual and group-based participation in the active learning opportunities, students will apply course content to concrete issues in contemporary clinical, organizational and research ethics, while imaginatively engaging with perspectives and values of diverse roles and stakeholders within the health system.

Minimum 4th year (level 4) standing and IDIS 373/3.0, or permission of the instructor.


Note: Priority will be given to students registered in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program

In-person format; course materials, some course communications, and some assignment submissions will be available through the online learning management system (OnQ).

With successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe key concepts and principles in health ethics, as well as contextual health-system factors relevant to contemporary clinical, organizational, and research ethics in Canada. 
  2. Critically analyze and discuss ways in which contextual health-system factors interact with professional healthcare roles to generate a variety of ethical issues in health care.
  3. Apply knowledge and skills from course content to generate and defend responses to ethically challenging cases. 

The program competencies are indicated below:
1. Communicator (Assessments 1,2,3)
2. Advocate (Assessment 3)
3. Leader (Assessment 3)
4. Scholar (Assessments 1,4,3)
5. Professional (Assessments 1,3)
6. Collaborator (Assessments 1,3)
7. Content Expert (Assessment 1,3)

Assessment 1 – Active Course Engagement (20%)

Students will be responsible for participating actively and consistently in classroom discussions of course material and cases of interest. For each course theme, students will be provided with discussion questions to prompt and guide participation in course discussions. One fourth of the value of this assessment will come from a self-assessment submitted by the student at the end of the course.

Assessment 2 – Written Case Analyses (40%)

Students will submit at least three, and no more than four, short written case analyses. Each analysis is focused on an anonymized, composite case drawn from real-world ethics practice. Students apply their developing knowledge in health ethics to identify ethical principles and values, as well as contextual health-system factors bearing on the case, and to suggest and briefly defend potential responses. Students will need to read and cite course material, and may need to do engage with some external sources in the literature.

Assessment 3 – Active Learning Opportunities (40%)

Each student will participate in two group-based active learning opportunities (ALOs). The ALOs offer students chances to demonstrate knowledge of course material and mastery of course concepts in live, interactive scenarios based on real-word practices and structures through which contemporary health systems address ethical issues (e.g., mock sessions of Research Ethics Boards, the Consent and Capacity Board, Policy Working Groups). In addition to collaboratively preparing for and participating in the live scenarios for two ALOs, each student submits a short, written reflection concerning her experience with each ALO.

Students can expect to spend 9-10 hours a week in study/practice for IDIS 483 (total time commitment 120 hours to complete the course).

IDIS 483 learning materials provided on the course website. There is no required textbook for this course.