medical ethics

16 - 20 September 2019 

Course details

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Fees:
    - £975 before 16 August 2019
    - £1075 after 16 August 2019
  • 10% discount for staff from Imperial College Health partners hospitals (Please contact CPD for a discount code before making the booking)
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including a 1 day conference on:

Justice and fairness in medical and health care ethics

on 20 September 2019

Members of the medical professions are repeatedly faced by ethical dilemmas in the course of their normal working lives.

For instance, is it right or wrong to “facilitate” the death of someone experiencing irremediable pain in the late stages of terminal illness?

How should scarce resources of time, money and skill be apportioned by medical practitioners and medical administrators between the diversity of medical needs that present themselves daily?

What are the rights and wrongs of being “economical with the truth” when telling patients about their medical condition? How much should the doctor’s view of what should be done and not done to benefit a patient over-ride the patient’s view?

All too often, issues such as these have been confronted somewhat tangentially and briefly during the initial training of medical, nursing and allied professionals, and tackled subsequently with uneasy pragmatism by practitioners. In particular, reasoned argument was not encouraged in many traditional courses.

More information

Course aims

This course, which started in 1983, has been designed to provide medical, nursing and allied professionals - whether as teachers of emerging professionals, or practising professionals at different stages in their career - with an extended and intensive opportunity to review and update their approach to the analysis of key “medico-moral” issues, with the help of leading authorities in the field of medical ethics.

It is also designed to be helpful to members of ethics committees, whether or not they are health professionals, and to others professionally involved with the ethical issues of health care.

Specifically, the course will:

  • Clarify the meaning and significance of key ethical concepts
  • Outline important types of ethical theory, and their relevance to medical ethics.
  • Offer a conceptual framework useful for ethical analysis of medico-moral problems in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Give opportunities to participants - under supportive conditions - to articulate their current medico- moral attitudes, and explore reasoned arguments that challenge their existing assumptions and ethical stances.

Who should attend?

The course is intended to cater for medical, nursing and allied professionals and administrators who feel the need for an opportunity to review and update their thinking about ethical issues - including medical and nursing teachers, nurses, GPs, consultants, members of ethics committees, hospital administrators, and officials in government departments with responsibilities for health care.

All participants will receive an Imperial College London Certificate of Attendance at the end of the course.

Course methods

The course consists of a series of lecture/seminars followed by small and large group discussions focused on the issues raised by the lecturers. One session will include presentation of arguments opposed to the position actually held by course members, in the context of a particular case.

This year the last day of the course will also comprise a stand-alone one day conference on justice and fairness in medical and  health care ethics. As usual the day will comprise the final ‘justice day’ of the five day intensive medical ethics  course but one-day subscriptions will also be available for those who simply wish to explore the role of that complex component of medical and health care ethics, justice/fairness. Seven plenary speakers will approach the subject from their varied perspectives- philosophy (James Wilson), care ethics (Ann Gallagher), health inequalities (Sir Michael Marmot), health economics (Richard Cookson), medical law (Emily Jackson), human rights (Julian Sheather) and medical ethics (Albert Weale). There will be no small group discussions but time is built in for audience participation. The one day conference will be chaired by Raanan Gillon.

CPD Approval

This course is approved by the Royal College of Physicians for 27 CPD credits.

In previous years when the PGEA approval scheme for general practice existed the course was always approved under the following categories:

  • Health Promotion and Prevention of Illness (8 hrs)
  • Disease Management (10 hrs)
  • Service Management (8 hrs)

Comments from past participants

"Recently, I spent a week at Imperial College in London on a course about medical ethics. It was run by Professor Raanan Gillon and has been the best post-graduate experience of my career."

"Medical ethics is the examination of the concepts, assumptions, beliefs, emotions and arguments that underpin decision-making in medicine - what ought and ought not to be done by medical and nursing professionals in the course of their work."

"A first class course to put your ethical thinking into perspective and relate to present day healthcare topics/issues. Recommend for new and older practitioners alike because it had something for everyone."