Bioethics Bootcamp: An Intensive Introduction to Ethics in Health Care

Moon, PA US
April 15, 2024

This day long program will provide an intensive introduction to ethical issues that arise in contemporary healthcare practice. Aimed at providing healthcare professionals with a basic introduction to the frameworks needed to understand and address ethical issues within their institution, this program will examine general principles in healthcare ethics through lecture and case-based discussion and will apply these principles to areas of informed consent, decision-making capacity, surrogate decision making, and explore the importance of respecting patient values and culture.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 5.25 AAPA Category I CME
  • 5.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
  • 5.25 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 5.25 ASWB
  • 5.25 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
04/15/2024 - 9:00am EDT
Event ends: 
04/15/2024 - 3:30pm EDT

8:30 am Registration

8:50 am General Welcome & Introductions

9:00 a– 10:10 am Dax’s Story Then and Now: Exploring the Paradox of Respect for Persons
Carrie Stott, PhD, LSW

Abstract: People interested in bioethics have been exploring Dax Cowart’s story and its impact on healthcare practices for nearly 50 years, yet this remains a relevant case for the field. The case depicts the importance of respect for persons in healthcare settings and continues to highlight a paradox that can arise from this principle; can an individual’s right to autonomy be respected while also striving to protect an individual during times of vulnerability. This presentation will include a video of Dax Cowart’s firsthand review of his story and discussion about the impacts the case had on bioethics. Cases that have since countered Cowart’s position will then be recognized to highlight the paradox of respect for persons. The presentation will conclude with a dialogue among participants about how healthcare professionals are currently addressing this paradox in practice or how we might strive to address it in the future.

10:10 - 11:10 am Approaches to Addressing Ethical Issues in Healthcare: New Ways and Old
Michael Deem, PhD

Abstract: Familiar methods and approaches for resolving healthcare ethics problems, such as the “four principles approach” and “four-box approach,” can be useful in clinical care and research. However, while they offer frameworks and strategies for addressing healthcare ethics challenges, they typically do not provide much guidance for resolving tensions among principles or values, weighing various principles and values, or clarifying the meaning of ethical terms. This has led to renewed interest among healthcare ethicists in exploring the meaning of ethical terms and thinking through the normative commitments that ethicists and clinicians import into these frameworks and strategies. This presentation will discuss the utility and limitation of traditional bioethical frameworks, and outline some of the new and broader ethical approaches that have emerged in healthcare ethics.

11:10—11:15 am BREAK

11:15 am—12:15 pm Bioethics at the End-of-Life
Matthew Shea, PhD.

Abstract: This presentation is an overview of some central concepts, principles, and questions in end-of-life ethics. The first part covers key ethical principles and distinctions related to the care of dying patients, including the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, and autonomy, and the distinctions between withholding and withdrawing treatment, intention and foresight, and killing and allowing to die. The second part focuses on two important values connected to these ethical norms: well-being/quality of life and dignity/moral worth. It explores different ways of understanding well-being and dignity and their implications for current debates in end-of-life ethics.

12:15—1:00 pm LUNCH

1:00 - 2:15 PM Can Surrogate Decision Making be Shared Decision Making 
Christine Bishop, MD, MA

Abstract: Surrogate decision-making is, in essence, a surrogate trying to make decisions that the person themselves would have made. The hope is that the surrogate decision maker uses substituted judgement and knows what decision the person would have made, or at least has knowledge of the person’s goals and values; however, this is not always the case. There are also times when decision making based on best-interest must be used. If a shared decision-making model between medical provider and patient is the goal for health care decisions, can substituted judgement and best-interest decision making achieve this? This talk will explore aspects of surrogate decision making and how they relate to shared decision making in the context of health care decision making.

2:15 pm – 2:20 pm BREAK

2:20 pm – 3:20 pm Culturally Congruent Care - Why Does it Matter and Why is it Important?
Rev. John Welch, MDiv, PhD

Abstract: Disparities in treatment and health outcomes have given rise to the examination of the role race, cultural competence, and implicit bias has played and continues to play in patient care. More studies have also examined the negative impact of workplace culture and how it too affects the future of healthcare generally.

3:20 pm – 3:30 pm Wrap-up and Adjournment

Robert Morris University—UPMC Event Center
6001 University Blvd.
Moon, PA 15108
United States

Christine E. Bishop, MD, MA 
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 
Director of Perinatal Supportive Care Department of Pediatrics
University of Pittsburgh

Michael J. Deem, PhD 
Associate Professor, Department of Human Genetics, School of Public Health
Core Faculty, Center for Bioethics & Health Law
Director, Consortium Ethics Program
University of Pittsburgh

Matthew Shea, PhD 
Assistant Professor of Philosophy 
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Carrie Stott, PhD 
MSW Program Director, Assistant Professor, Social Work (MSW)
Carlow University

Rev. John C. Welch, MDiv, PhD 
Senior Pastor, Sixth Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church Medical Ethicist, Equity Coach, and Community Engagement Consultant

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Physician (CME)
The University of Pittsburgh designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nursing (CNE)
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 5.25 contact hours.

Physician Assistant (AAPA)
The University of Pittsburgh has been authorized by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) to award AAPA Category 1 CME credit for activities planned in accordance with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 5.25 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.  

Social Work 
As a Jointly Accredited Organization, University of Pittsburgh is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. University of Pittsburgh maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 5.25 continuing education credits.

Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity. 

Available Credit

  • 5.25 AAPA Category I CME
  • 5.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
  • 5.25 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 5.25 ASWB
  • 5.25 Attendance
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Please contact Jody Stockdill by email for more information.