medical ethics

12 - 16 September 2016

Course details

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Fees:
    - £975 before 12 August 2016
    - £1075 after 12 August 2016
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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.

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."