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Health Care Ethics

Mark C. Aita, S.J., M.D., Program Director

Barbelin 112f, 610-660-3427, maita@sju.edu

Master of Arts in Health Care Ethics Program

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Health Care Ethics is designed to prepare individuals for the complex and growing field of biomedical ethics.  It will enable students to reflect systematically on contemporary issues in bioethics and healthcare through the prism of philosophical and theological traditions and also to promote an awareness of social justice in the delivery of healthcare.

Healthcare professionals are confronted almost daily with complex ethical dilemmas they may not be well prepared to handle. It is imperative that they, and those preparing to work in the field of healthcare, have an solid understanding of moral theory and its application to decision-making in clinical practice.

The program is multidisciplinary and encourages learning and thinking from an interdisciplinary perspective. It fosters the critical analysis of bioethical topics through the interplay between moral theory and medical practice. It also prepares those students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Bioethics to enter into doctoral programs at another institution.

This program is one of the few in the country that combine theoretical and clinical elements with an emphasis on the clinical dimension. This is made possible by the fact that some of the faculty serve as ethics consultants to several hospitals in the city and surrounding area. Also, two faculty members are physicians.

Target Groups

The Master of Arts in Health Care Ethics program is intended for those who wish to work or are working in the healthcare field, especially health care professionals, medical students, members of Institutional Ethics Committees both in hospitals and nursing homes, Organizational Ethics Committees, and members of Institutional Review Boards.  It is predicted that in the near future members of Hospital Ethics Committees will be required to have academic certification in healthcare ethics. The Master of Arts program would give them the knowledge they need to handle the difficult ethical problems they face at each meeting. And it would provide the needed certification. The program is intended for all professionals in the healthcare field who wish to pursue a credentialed career or enhance their expertise in ethics.

The Master of Arts in Health Care Ethics program is also intended for recent college graduates who plan to embark on professional medical studies. It prepares them well to deal with the difficult ethical problems they will face in their clinical years. The master’s degree would add a valuable credential to improve their resume as they apply for professional school.

Executives in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries would also profit from the Master of Arts in Health Care Ethics program. Clinical research and marketing may pose moral questions for pharmaceutical executives. Moreover, healthcare management and allocation decisions also pose moral questions for insurance executives. The Master of Arts in Health Care Ethics would help these executives navigate stormy ethical waters.

Application Requirements

Access Online Application at www.sju.edu/higherknowledge. This link will take you step by step through the online application process. You will download the following:

  • Current resume. (GRE not required)
  • Personal statement- a letter of intention outlining your professional and educational goals (500 words)
  • Name and Email address of two people who will write letter of recommendation for you: people who will write letter of Recommendation.
  • $35 application fee (waived if attended a Virtual Open House or are an SJU graduate).

N.B. Official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate/graduate coursework should be mailed directly to Graduate Admissions @ 5600 City Avenue, Phila., PA 19131

Each semester you will register yourself for class. You will be unable to register if your application is not complete, if you have not been fully accepted, or if you have a credit hold for unpaid tuition. 

Acceptance and Enrollment

The Program Director will decide whether the academic record, recommendations, personal statements, and professional background of candidates indicate sufficient ability to manage the program of studies in this curriculum. Applicants will be notified in writing regarding their admission status. Candidates are admitted for enrollment in fall, spring, or summer sessions. Qualified applicants, with the approval of the director, may take up to two courses prior to full matriculation (with the approval of the program director).

Graduate Assistantship

Competitively-based graduate assistantships, which include tuition benefits for 9 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters as well as an annual stipend of $6000, are awarded to first year master's students on the basis of merit. Students who are awarded assistantships are required to work 20 hours per week. Applications for assistantships can be acquired from the program administrator Theresa O'Doherty who can be reached by email todhert@sju.edu or by phone at (610) 660-3425.

For more information about graduate programs, visit Institute of Catholic Bioethics web site: 

http://www.sju.edu/academics/centers/bioethics/

CURRICULUM

The graduate curriculum is a flexible 36-credit program designed to allow students to create a customized graduate study plan compatible with their needs and career objectives in the Healthcare field and for successful completion over two academic years. The curriculum is composed of four major components: a fifteen-credit common core required of all students; six credit required general ethics core; twelve-credits of elective courses in Healthcare Ethics; and a three-credit integrative capstone course. The end-goal of the integrative capstone experience is a research paper of a quality publishable in a peer-reviewed journal. For those interested in pursuing a Ph.D in bioethics, this program will prepare them well to enter into a doctoral program at another institution.

Common Core: Five Courses (15 credits)

HAD 554

Healthcare Law

HAD 600

Ethics of Healthcare

HAD 559

Health Policy

HCE 550

Topics in bioethics

HCE 551

Methodological Issues in Bioethics

Required General Ethics: Two Courses (6 credits)

HCE 552

Theological Issues in Bioethics

HCE 553

Philosophical Ethical Theories in Bioethics

Electives: Four Courses (12 credits)

Clinical Concentration Select (0-4)

HED 577

Health Education and HIV/AIDS

HED 552

Epidemiology and Community Health

HCE 570

Clinical bioethics and Religious Traditions

HCE 571

Health Care Disparities

HCE 600

Fieldwork in Clinical Bioethics

Ethical Concentration Select (0-4)

HAD 570

Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Disease and Disability

HED 572

Social Justice and Bioethics

HCE 573

Death and Dying: End of Life Decision Making

HCE 601

Ethical, Medical and Legal Issues in Neonatology and Pediatrics

HCE 574

Spirituality and Health Care

(alternative electives can be taken with the permission of the Director)

Integrative Capstone Course: One Course (3 credits)

HCE 700

Integrative Capstone in Bioethics

Online Certificate in Health Care Ethics Program

The Online Certificate in Health Care Ethics Program is designed to prepare individuals for the complex and growing field of biomedical ethics.  It will enable students to reflect systematically on the ethical, legal and policy dimensions of contemporary issues in bioethics and health care.

Health Care professionals are confronted almost daily with complex ethical dilemmas they may not be well prepared to handle. It is imperative that they, and those preparing to work in the field of Health Care, have a solid understanding of moral theory and its application to decision-making in clinical practice.

In the near future members of Hospital Ethics Committees and Institutional Review Boards will be required to have academic credentials in health care ethics. The Online Certificate Program provides the education they need to carry out the three functions of Hospital Ethics Committees (1) advise doctors, patients and their families as they struggle with difficult end-of-life diagnostic and treatment decisions, (2) offer educational opportunities to the hospital community and (3) review and recommend hospital policies.

The Online Certificate Program is also intended for all professionals in the Health Care field who wish to pursue a credentialed career or enhance their expertise in bioethics.

Executives in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries would also profit from the Online Certificate Program in Health Care Ethics. Clinical research and marketing pose moral questions for pharmaceutical executives. Moreover, health care management and allocation decisions pose moral questions for insurance executives. The Online Certificate program in Health Care Ethics would help these executives navigate stormy ethical waters.

CURRICULUM

Four Required Courses (12 Credits)

Course #

Course Name

Semester Offered

HAD 600

Ethics of Health Care

Offered both sessions, every semesters

HAD 559

Health Policy

Offered both sessions, each semesters

HAD 554

Health Care Law

Offered both sessions, each semesters

HCE 552

Theological Issues in Bioethics

Offered 2nd session, Spring semester only

The Online Certificate in Health Care Ethics Program may be of interest to those who are not ready to make a commitment to master level studies. The four courses encompass the core of the MA curriculum and would be accepted in transfer if the student subsequently decides to advance to the Master of Arts Program.

Campus-Based Certificate in Health Care Ethics Program

The Campus-Based Certificate Program offers a distinctive program of studies to prepare individuals for the complex and growing field of biomedical ethics. The program provides graduate educational opportunities that will enable students to reflect systematically on contemporary issues in bioethics, medical research and health care principally through the prism of the intellectual heritage of the Roman Catholic philosophical and theological tradition.

CURRICULUM

Two Required Courses

HAD 554

Healthcare Law

HAD 600

Ethics of Healthcare

Two Elective Courses

HCE 550

Topics in Bioethics

HCE 552

Theological Issues in Bioethics

HCE 553

Philosophical Ethical Theories in Bioethics

HCE 571

Health Care Disparities

HCE 572

Social Justice and Bioethics

HCE 573

Death and Dying: End of Life Decision Making

HCE 574

Spirituality and Health Care

HAD 550

Health Services Research

HAD 559

Health Policy

HAD 570

Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Disease and Disability

HED 552

Epidemiology and Community Health

HED 560

Aging in America

HED 577

Health Education and HIV/AIDS

(alternative electives can be taken with the permission of the Director)

Students in the HAD, HED and Long-Term Care Administration Programs at SJU are eligible for the Certificate in Health Care Ethics as a "Value Added" feature. Only two additional courses are needed. Once the M.S. degree requirements are completed, students simply need to take two more elective courses which they have not previously taken. Contact Program Director of Health Care Ethics Programs to obtain approval. There is no need for formal, additional application to Saint Joseph’s University.