Department of Philosophy and Comparative Religion

Bioethics for Health Care Professionals

The Program of Study
The Bioethics Program, developed by the Philosophy Department at CSU, offers a course of study designed for persons involved in the allied health professions, health care practice, research, administration, or litigation. Earning our Certificate in Bioethics, either undergraduate or graduate will be most useful to those who will often be faced with the ethical questions that will inevitably arise in the clinical or research settings. A course of study in bioethics will provide a grounding in the essentials of ethical theory as well as the fundamentals of bioethics. For maximum flexibility of scheduling, all of our bioethics courses are being offered on the web; there are no classes held on campus. You can find a complete list of our courses (all four credit) under the "Course Offerings" heading below.

Enrollment is open to persons who have earned a bachelor's degree or its equivalent and to upper-level undergraduates. The courses may be taken by either degree-seeking or non-degree seeking students. According to individual interests, registered students are free to enroll in any one or more of the courses offered. Although the courses satisfy the requirements of both undergraduate and graduate degree seeking students, they are open to non-degree seeking students as well.

Certificates are granted to both graduate students and undergraduates.

Certification for Undergraduate Students
Students who successfully complete twelve semester hours in bioethics at the undergraduate level, distributed as described below, with a grade of at least 3.0 in each, will be eligible to receive the Certificate in Bioethics granted by the University. The certificate will attest that its holder has completed a course of study in moral theory, and clinical practice, law, or policy related to bioethics.

All students must take four credits covering moral reasoning, by taking PHL 440. The remaining eight credits required for certification can be chosen from the other bioethics courses listed below.

Certification for Graduate Students
Persons who successfully complete twelve semester hours in bioethics at the graduate level, distributed as described below, with a grade of at least 3.0 in each, will be eligible to receive the Certificate of Advanced Study in Bioethics granted by the University. The certificate will testify that its holder has completed an intensive course of graduate study in moral theory, decision-making procedures in ethics, the current literature of bioethics, and the practical application of moral principles and rules to cases in clinical practice, decision-making and law.

All students must take four credits covering moral reasoning by taking PHL 540. The remaining eight credits required for certification can be chosen from the other graduate level bioethics courses listed below.

Course Offerings

Four credit courses:

PHL 440/540 Moral Reasoning and Bioethics
An examination of ethical systems and forms of argumentation as they bear upon case studies in bioethics. Dominant ethical theories will be studied and critiqued, especially from the standpoint of application. Reasoning at the levels of principles, rules, and particular judgments will be distinguished, and the relevance of institutional practices, roles, and particular circumstances will be analyzed.

PHL 441/541 Clinical Issues in Bioethics
The course will focus on moral problems which arise in the day-to-day practice of health care professionals, administrators, and researchers, within the framework of existing institutions, social policies, and laws. It will include readings on controversial moral issues in clinical ethics and apply forms and strategies of moral reasoning to selected cases. PHL 442/542 Policy Issues in BioethicsPolicy issues in bioethics reviews the role of governments in developing and implementing health care policies. Readings and discussion will cover such topics as surrogacy, transplantation, problems of financing, the allocation of resources, and experimentation.

PHL 443/543 Bioethics and the Law
Students will learn rudimentary legal research skills, the structure of the American legal system and constitutional foundations of health care law as applied to some classical and contemporary legal issues which may include death and dying, transplantation, genetic and reproductive law, human subjects research, and employee testing for drug use.

PHL 444/544 Bioethics and Biotechnology
An application of bioethical viewpoints and major ethical theories to issues in biotechnology such as issues in informed consent in genetic modification, potential harm to humans and nonhuman animals, health resources used for human enhancement, genetic modification of agricultural products, stem cell research, the use of human embryos and human cloning. Tutorials on human genetics and recombinant DNA will be included. <!-- em>Writing

PHL 428/528 Bioethics: Special Topics
Examines special topics in bioethics.

Teaching Faculty

Sonya Charles, Ph.D., joined the department in the fall of 2007. She received her doctorate from Michigan State University. Professor Charles specializes in feminist philosophy and is interested in reproductive issues in bioethics.

Joseph P. DeMarco, Ph.D., is the lead developer of the Cleveland State University bioethics web courses. He has published numerous articles in ethics. Professor DeMarco's books include A Coherence Theory in Ethics and Moral Theory.

Martin T. Harvey, Ph.D., joined the department in 2000. Professor Harvey specializes in bioethics and the works of Thomas Hobbes. He has published a number of articles on bioethics and Hobbes.

Samuel A. Richmond, Ph.D., is a Co-Director of the Bioethics Program and has published many articles in ethics and social work practice. He has taught courses in applied and professional ethics, and regularly teaches Bioethics Policy Issues and Bioethics and Law.

Allyson L. Robichaud, Ph.D., is a Co-Director of the Bioethics Program and helped with the development and implementation of the web courses. She is currently the President of the Bioethics Network of Ohio and has published in the area of medicine and emotion.

(216) 687-3900 or Professor Robichaud: (216) 687-3906

The Bioethics Certificate Program has served professional students from many quality health care facilities throughout northeast Ohio.

As part of the program you will have the opportunity to discuss issues with other health care and industry professionals providing a well-balanced point of view.

Professionals who have taken the courses include:

Chaplains Dentists Health Insurance Managers Hospital Administrators
Attorneys Nursing Supervisors Nursing Educators Nursing Home Administrators
Osteopathic Physicians Patient Advocates Physical Therapists Physician Assistants
Physicians Registered Nurses Visiting Nurses  

Graduates' Comments:

"I now have a mechanism for clarifying and analyzing ethical problems and dilemmas, and can come to resolution with more confidence and communicate support for my stance to others in a meaningful way which carries influence. Nice meld of theoretical and practical--makes a difference". LM, R.N.

"A most interesting and stimulating experience both from the standpoint of content and from the fellow participants that I met. Provides a body of knowledge against which to critically evaluate feelings and opinions". JB, S.W.

"This program was long overdue for the Greater Cleveland Area. It provides training in critical ethical thinking to meet the demands of the new climate in health care". CC, D.D.S.

"In order to practice "good medicine", I feel ethics offers a more informed practitioner the necessary tools". KK, R.N.

"Increased my awareness of decision-making process, being able to more clearly espouse justification for decisions, and broadened my scope of knowledge". JKL, R.N.

"I have enhanced my ability to consider choices rationally rather than by following only my instincts". BG, M.D.

"Definitely clarified my thinking, provided excellent theory. Excellent method to "expand horizons" related to ethics". RD, R.N.

Continuing Professional Education Credit - for the Bioethics Program has been granted by:

Ohio State Dental Board
Board of Nursing Home Administrators
Ohio Board of Nursing
State Board of Psychology
Other Approvals are Pending, Please Inquire.

BIOETHICS CERTIFICATE PROGRAM CREDITS are transferable to many advanced degree programs both at CSU and other institutions. The Program Director will work with your advisor to ensure transferability.

Click here for a Directory of other BIOETHICS web sites