Background and Resources

Subtopic 1: Ethics and Values

Activity 1.1

Activity 1.2

Activity 1.3

Subtopic 2: Bioethical Problems Identification

Activity 2.1

Activity 2.2

Activity 2.3

Subtopic 3: Methods and Strategies for Decision-Making

Activity 3.1

Activity 3.2

Activity 3.3

Module Summary

Developer Bio

User Evaluation Form

The Strife of Values in Bio-ethical

Ethical decision-making quite often incorporates appeals to principles that follow from other value-laden considerations. This is particularly true when what we acknowledge to be ethical concerns are challenged by interests of coexistent economic, scientific, religious, and political realities. Nowhere do we find this difficulty more evident than in the area of bio-ethics and public health. Students will learn to recognize this problem as a problem, and will cultivate strategies to mediate its negative effects on efforts to improve the quality of human life.

Objectives and Expectations

Purpose Statement
Generally, the purpose of this module is to prompt students to note practical differences that arise between bio-ethical decision-making and decisions that follow from other ways of determining value. Specifically, students will consider the scope of bio-ethical questions in the fight against infectious disease and other public health concerns, and the relations of these to other questions of value that have direct impact on the lives of individuals and community well-being.  Included in this inquiry is an identification of matters that involve funding constraints and other economic concerns, problems in research, conflicting religious doctrines, and opposing political agendas.  Correlatively, students will learn how to mediate such interests with professional and personal morality.

Learning and Teaching Methodology
The focus of this module allows multiple variations and enhancements in teaching its philosophical and applied content. Faculty may use it for either a unit exercise, or full-course outline that is easily tailored to both faculty and student interests. This module assumes no prior exposure to the formal study of ethics. At the same time, the issue with which it deals is of sufficient practical importance and public concern to place it well within the range of intermediate and advanced study.

The learning portion of this module is divided into three primary sections. Faculty may elect to include all three sections when adapting this to his or her particular course requirements and teaching styles, or select as few as one.
  • Ethics and Values
  • Bio-ethical Problems Identification – Case Studies
  • Methods and Strategies for Ethical Decision-Making
Tools and Resources
Whether offered in a traditional classroom, hybrid classroom, or by distance education, this module requires an online time commitment by both faculty and students. Computer access is a necessity, either on campus or at home. Resources for this module include:
  • Listing of suggested primary texts on ethics and values
  • Current journal and news articles
  • Suggested community resources
  • Listing of secondary literature on the topic
  • Film and documentaries where available
Approaches to Teaching
Each module section deals with its particular focus from several suggested angles. These include:
  • Research (online, print, and where practical, field interviews and focus groups with affected community members)
  • Faculty and student presentations of research and identified problems
  • Student project (a written extension of a student’s presentation)
  • Guest presenters (from Academia and community)
  • Discussion forums (both in-class and online)
  • Student testing (quizzes, objective and essay examinations)
Student Learning
This module is suitable for students at any stage of learning and incorporates the following elements of critical thinking and student learning styles.
  • Emphasis on problem identification and solving
  • Short course on ethics and values
  • Research skills
  • Emphasis on matters of public concern
  • Diverse learning styles accommodated
  • Emphasis on the practical connection and importance of philosophical thinking to thinking in general.
his module requires no special budgetary needs, except in instances where research interests suggest the purchase of certain online materials, including journal access, honorariums for guest speakers, and/or transportation for community-based field research.