Ethical Decision Making

  • European Master in Health Economics and Management
Course unit code
  • EU-HEM-M2.1
Level of course unit
  • Master
Semester when the course unit is delivered
  • 2
Number of ECTS credits allocated
  • 5.0
Name of lecturer(s)
  • Prof. Dr. habil. Gebrewold Belachew
  • Ao.Univ.-Prof. Friesenecker Barbara
  • M.B., B.CH. Sabae Ayman, MA
  • Ass. FH-Prof. Mag. Wieser Desiree, PhD
  • Ass. FH-Prof. Fouda Ayman, PhD
Learning outcomes of the course unit
  • At the end of the course, students will have a differentiated understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to ethics. They should be able to …
    • identify ethical problems within present-day clinical practice, scientific medicine, and health policy;
    • make ethical decisions by applying ethical principles (e.g. of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights);
    • recognize conflicts between the health care profession-al’s obligations to patients and to society and identify the reasons for the conflicts;
    • reflect critically on ethical and human rights issues in health and social policy;
    • face the conflicts between ethical and business-oriented approaches to health care delivery;
    • analyze current and future issues from a bioethical per-spective;
    • understand the historical evolution of the human rights concept, and why it is so central in today's academic discourse, policy making and ethics;
    • explain how human rights and equality, justice and equi-ty are key in allocating such as scarce health care re-sources;
    • explain how and to what extent human rights are rela-tive or universal and can determine our decision-making;
    • understand and explain why and how solidarity and social responsibility constitute the foundation of any fair society;
Mode of delivery
  • -
Prerequisites and co-requisites
  • none
Course contents
  • The role of intuition in ethical decision-making
    Introduction and application of inductive, case-based methods in bioethics
    Differentiation between ethical and non-ethical decision-making
    Approaches to human dignity and human rights
    Platonicity (ethics, decision [choice & reason], utility [incentives], biases)
    Status syndrome (the ethics of social gradient & social justice)
    Uncertainties and risks in complex decision making
    Human vulnerability
    The emergence of human rights discourse, theoretical-philosophical reflections on human rights
    Universality and relativity of human rights in ethical decision making, implication of cultural diversity
    The link between human rights and ethics,
    Biases in decisions (choices under uncertainty)
    Thinking with feelings, the value of empathy
    Exploring the limits of knowledge, objectivity and ac-countability
    Privacy and confidentiality
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
  • The course comprises an interactive mix of lectures, discussions and individual and group work.
Assessment methods and criteria
  • To monitor the students’ learning this course will provide ongoing assignments as a basis for feedback and grading (formative assessment) and/or will evaluate the students learning at the end of the course or an instructional unit via exams, final project reports, essays or seminar papers (summative assessment).
Language of instruction
  • English