Masters of Science in Biomedical Ethics Degree

The Institute of Consultative Bioethics is proud to announce a Masters of Science in Biomedical Ethics degree (MSBE) with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Course Descriptions

MBE1010-History and Scope of Bioethics
This course provides a foundational introduction to healthcare ethics. The course presents an analysis of dominant methods in healthcare ethics from historical, systematic, and religious perspectives. Starting from a historical examination of the major moral traditions (Hippocratic tradition, quality of life, and Enlightenment tradition) as well as the philosophical debate on the goals of health care, and specific ethical problems in care. Practical ethical theories and principles are discussed such as Principlism and Virtue Ethics.

MBE1020-Compliance Issues: Patient Rights and Safety
This course will instruct students on strictly regulated issues associated with healthcare ethics including patient rights/safety laws and compliance issues. Topics will include HIPAA, Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA), Privacy Rule (Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information), compliance and institutional rules & procedures. Students will explore the concept of informed consent and what that really means to the formulation of ethical clinical and research practices, as well as to providing daily care that preserves the practitioner's integrity and honors patients.  Students will also hear discussions on the laws involving privacy and confidentiality and formulate a better understanding of what a culture of patient safety requires from different stakeholder perspectives--practitioners, patients, and the organization, and why that is especially relevant to ethics. 

MBE1030-Clinical Ethics I
The course will allow students to become familiar with ethical issues and their inherent ethical dilemmas especially related to the beginning of life. It will include the philosophical debate on the goals of health care and supporting ethical concepts. Beginning of life issues will include abortion, contraception, fetal diagnosis, and reproductive medicine. The end of the course will begin the discussion of organ donation.

MBE1040-Clinical Ethics II
This course focuses on end-of-life issues and the inherent ethical dilemmas. It will allow students to become familiar with applying ethical principles to end-of-life and other areas of care. It will include the philosophical debate on the goals of healthcare, the concepts of suffering, futility, and compassion. Specific ethical concerns in end-of-life care will be analyzed: withholding and withdrawing treatment; artificial nutrition and hydration; palliative care; euthanasia; and assisted death.

MBE2010-Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Communication
This course’s emphasis is on mediation and conflict resolution training that will introduce professionals in the medical and health care industry to the world of conflict resolution. The course begins with an understanding of conflict resolution models. Then one of those models, mediation, is reviewed in detail including an overview of communication techniques (styles and breakdowns). Students are encouraged to understand how the corporate culture can vary considerably from facility to facility, why, how it can affect the process, and how to manage differences.

MBE2020-Building Cultural Competence
Cultural mores, folkways, and religious practices can strongly affect attitudes, priorities, and decision making regarding health and health care. All healthcare practitioners need a basic awareness of this fact and how to manage it to establish and maintain the professional-patient relationship, respect a patient's worldview, honor preferences, and actively provide patient-centered care. While not comprehensive, this course will help students to improve their cultural competence in the healthcare setting by providing an introductory sampling of some of the basic tenets of selected religions and features of various cultures and subgroups and by discussing how they may apply to provision of care. Students will be guided to do the following: identify relevant ethical issues and any religious/cultural/societal norms that affect giving or receiving care; identify if there are any authoritative documents or recommendations from leaders or authority figures and/or popular interpretations relevant to particular ethnic or social communities and subgroups that drive/restrict behavior or decision making; and identify potential legal issues and precedent, if existing, that involve provision of care.

MBE2030-Organizational Ethics
The course examines the role of organizational ethics in health care. The analysis focuses on the integration of clinical, professional, and organizational ethics in health care that foster patient safety, quality and the delivery of patient-centered care. Relevant standards in the field will be considered, such as the Joint Commission or DNV GL's accreditation standards for hospitals, and theoretical issues, relevant principles, and practical concerns will be discussed.

MBE2040-Research Ethics
This course will explore the responsible conduct of science with a focus on ethical issues in clinical research involving human participants. We will review federal research policies related to investigator responsibilities and institutional review board (IRB) function. Students will become familiar with the history, terminology, and resources of research ethics as well as key debates that have occurred/are occurring in the research ethics literature. Material covered in this course will be relevant for clinical practitioners and/or investigators, IRB members, and ethicists.

MBE3000-Executive Ethics Interviews and Analysis
Students will complete on-site discovery at various healthcare organizations under a student observation arrangements. This course provides students opportunity to participate in clinical ethics issues and activities, and in the institutional ethics committee. The program is self-paced over the semester. Student’s will identify a healthcare organization for their discovery site and execute a student observation agreement allowing executive interviews with administrators within the ethics function. Interviews will be documented and analyzed to create a SWOT report and strategic tactics.

MBE3010-Public Health Ethics
The ethical dimensions of health concepts, health promotion, prevention, epidemiology, immunization, screenings, and health policies are examined. The course presents the public health perspective, the general principles and issues of public health ethics, and how these may sometimes seem to contrast with traditional medical ethics. Commonly accepted existing practices that are being challenged, like childhood vaccinations, and other public health initiatives that may seem to impinge on individual rights will be discussed.

MBE3020-Clinician as the Problem
Uncovering, examining, and understanding how to set aside personal biases are not only important steps in becoming an effective bioethicist, but they also are necessary skills for any clinical worker faced with providing genuine patient-centered care. This course encourages both self-reflection and interaction as it challenges students through the presentation of dilemmas specifically related to common personal biases and the opportunity to work through them. 

MBE3100-Capstone Experience
The Capstone is a comprehensive review of skills and competencies that the student would be expected to demonstrate at a level of proficiency or expertise. This course provides students the opportunity to integrate all previous MSBE learning experiences and work to solve “real world” ethics, patient engagement, compliance and leadership problems. Students will benefit from live presentations with Q&A sessions and from working in groups, interprofessionally when possible. There also will be opportunities for one-on-one mentoring from selected instructors. The comprehensive review will be done in person over a 3-day period. Students will present individually or in groups as directed. Some preparatory work and reading in advance of attendance will be required.