Preparing Students to Evaluate Today's Ethical Issues in Health Care Visionand MissionTeachingObjectivesTeachingPhilosophyRoleof Faculty Vision The Department of Health Care Ethics envisions a health care system in which dedicated health care professionals are actively engaged in both the moral and practical challenges of living and working within the current health care system, as well as helping to establish the foundations for a more just, equitable and effective system for the future. Within this vision, health care professionals are as aware of the larger issues of health care policy as they are the day-to-day ethics of the ordinary. These health professionals recognize their responsibility as a moral agent, strive to resolve ethical dilemmas through ongoing, respectful, interdisciplinary dialogue, and are not afraid to assume a leadership role in their advocacy for patients, community, colleagues and institutions. Mission In order to achieve this vision, the mission of the Department of Health Care Ethics is to foster moral awareness and ethical action in health care practice and leadership. This mission is accomplished within the broad scope of teaching, scholarship and community outreach. The department serves the students and faculty of the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, as well as professionals from the regional health care community. Members of the Department faculty are knowledgeable in clinical and organizational ethics, as well as in public policy issues related to health care, with special attention to the Catholic moral tradition and conceptions of Catholic social justice. They are contributors to the national and international dialogue in health care ethics. Drawing on the larger mission and values of the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions and the heart of our Jesuit heritage, the work of the Department of Health Care Ethics is dedicated to promoting deep individual reflection and an informed civil discourse based on the following to the following core values: Respect for the dignity of the human person within community Intellectual rigor and humility in the face of complex issues Accountability of the individual as moral agent Commitment to a more just society The Department's core values guide the education that faculty provide in preparing students for the ethical challenges they will face. Students are thereby encouraged to develop an informed understanding of their own moral foundations in an atmosphere of mutual support and encouragement, honoring the Regis University commitment to the question "How ought we to live?" Guided by these same core values, the Center for Ethics and Leadership in the Health Professions provides outreach to the Rocky Mountain health care community in the form of consultative services, education, research, and other collaborative activities. With a focus on the future, the Center is deeply committed to scholarship that promotes the moral reflection and leadership needed to create health care systems that are able to meet the dilemmas of a diverse society, scarce resources, emerging technologies, and mounting global health challenges. There are two primary teaching objectives in all undergraduate and graduate courses in health care ethics. The first objective is to stimulate students to reflect deeply on their individual personal and professional moral and ethical foundations through both private reflection and open, respectful dialogue on issues ranging from controversial topics in bioethics and health care policy, to organizational ethics, to "ethics of the ordinary" in everyday professional practice. The second objective is to develop the student's confidence in his or her ability to analyze and defend a well reasoned position that encourages and empowers principled action within the dual contexts of professional practice and leadership. Graduate courses extend these teaching objectives to include the ability to critically evaluate and synthesize lay interpretations and scholarly analyses of ethical issues and cases, as well as a stronger emphasis on moral agency in professional leadership roles. The ideal course in health care ethics combines theoretical foundations with a rigorous process of analysis and an emphasis on practical application in personal and professional contexts. Theoretical foundations should include a balanced presentation of classical and contemporary approaches to ethical theory, common ethical principles, significant moral concepts, and the views of faith-based traditions with particular attention to Catholic moral tradition and social teaching consistent with the Catholic mission of the University. These theoretical foundations provide a language and structure through which ethical analysis can take place. The emphasis on practical application should facilitate the student's acceptance of his or her role and responsibility as a moral agent. In light of our teaching objectives and philosophy, the role of the faculty instructor is to: Create an open, trusting and mutually respectful atmosphere that facilitates the exploration of personal positions with respect to highly sensitive topics and case scenarios. Introduce students to a rigorous and highly disciplined framework for ethical decision-making with opportunities to apply the decision framework to complex topics and cases in both individual and group decision processes. Present the basic assumptions of a specified range of ethical theories, principles and related concepts and traditions as moral lenses through which multiple ethical views and questions can be raised in the process of ethical analysis and dialogue. Introduce critical foundational concepts such as the sanctity of life, the definition of personhood, the mastery of nature, quality of life and the meaning of suffering, and the balance of individual liberty with the interests of the common good, and illustrate the importance of formulating a reasoned stance on these conceptual points when conducting ethical analysis and dialogue. Employ a variety of methods for deepening a student's understanding and appreciation for the unique contributions of each ethical perspective and concept, including highly Socratic forms of dialogue and instructor feedback, oral and written case studies, small group discussions, position papers, and ethical decision making simulation exercises. Provide guidance and support as students confront personal ethical lapses and inconsistencies, develop insight into personal moral foundations and strengths, and become willing and thoughtful participants in the critical analysis of ethical dilemmas in health care.