Healthcare providers and support staff face many ethical issues in caring for patients including informed consent, confidentiality, end of life challenges, and how to allocate resources. These decisions affect providers, patients, family members, and support staff. Resolving ethical dilemmas in a clinical setting often is refered to a healthcare ethics committee. The process of this interdisciplinary team is to develop healthcare ethical value clarification skills will be introduced.
Students need to know and understand how healthcare issues are identified and handled in a clinical setting. They will learn the composition and operating principles used by healthcare ethics commitees and how they may provide appropriate input into this professional setting.
Ethics in healthcare is a “hot topic.” The pillars of ethics and ethical theories flow largely out of religious thought and tradition.
Biblical admonitions and guidance generally are not rules, but principles based upon the context of larger Christian teachings. These principles historically have served as a basis for "natural law." Usiing commonly accepted procedures in clinical settings with the appropriate language will allow the missional believer to translate his or her spiriual principles into the healthcare environment.
If healthcare workers desire to live out their missional calling in the healthcare field, they will desire to guide and shape their colleagues and institutions to act more ethically.
The healthcare field is a unique ministry context, and a course on healthcare ethics would help caregivers apply broader biblical principles to specific healthcare issues.
A large part of healthcare ethics tends to the issues of culture and equity. Healthcare values can change among differing cultures. Ethics takes this into account.
Ethics asks, what is the right thing to do? It is very practical.
Ethics cannot be applied without a case or situation. Learners would bring their cases to the table for discussion and learning and return to their practice with the benefit of that learning.