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Various Dept Based Elective Course Description

Course Name: Contemporary Ethical Issues in Clinical Practice  No Longer Offered
Course Number: XX-480 
Elective Type: C
Coordinator(s): Marjorie Clay Ph.D., (Primary)
Department: Ethics
Sites Available: Affiliated Sites
Months Offered: September-June 
Number of Students / Month: By Special Arrangement Only 
Prerequisites: Completion of 3rd year clerkships
* Offered to UMass Students Only  

Elective Description: To provide students with various opportunities to extend the medical ethical knowledge they have acquired during their preclinical years and to apply the knowledge to “real-life” problems in clinical practice.

  1. Specific content will be tailored to each student’s interests and specific career goals. The following example is focused on psychiatry.
    • To investigate the concept of informed consent as it applies to patients who suffer from psychiatric illnesses:e.g.,
    • the extent to which decision-making capacity is impaired by mental illness;
    • the effect of psychotropic medications on decision-making capacity;
    • the efforts being made to protect mentally ill patients who participate in clinical trials of new psychotropic drugs.

      2.   To explore how mental illness affects the delivery of healthcare in situations involving such issues as code status, advance directives, allocation of resources. E.g.,

    • Whether an advance directive should be respected in a patient whose medical condition is the result of a suicide attempt;
    • Whether decision-making requirement are/should be higher for treatment refusal than for consent;
    • Whether the presence of mental illness (i.e., depression) has a negative effect on the possibility of
      organ recipient (whether value judgments are being presented as if they were medical criteria)

     3.   To participate when possible in various ethics-related conferences, rounds, and meetings (ETIC, Neonatal/Ob Ethics Rounds, Organ and Tissue Committee, Forensic Psychiatry Fellows meetings, etc.)

Note: * Offered to UMASS Students Only 
Location:   Affiliated Sites