What is Health Care Ethics?

Health care practitioners live by a certain moral code that helps guide them in making the right choices. Over the years, the ethics of health care has become a growing area of focus, as it helps guide doctors, nurses, and other members of the healthcare community through their decision-making processes.

Much of health care ethics is oriented to the practical questions of what should be done in a particular case. Yet, if those who must resolve the ever-increasing and complex ethical dilemmas in health care treat every case as something new, they will have lost perhaps the best way of reaching a solution, that is by understanding general principles of ethics and a systematic ethical stance.1

With an online Master of Science in Health Care Ethics from Creighton University, you can learn more about how to assess emerging ethical dilemmas and to apply ethical principles and other tools to work though the questions of ethics.

Understanding ethics is the first step.

Healthcare ethics basically provides us with a set of guidelines by which we can make decisions. The first step involves understanding value judgments, that is, when a situation involves ethics. The question of who ought to decide or where the authority for decisions ought to rest should next be determined. Then questions about what makes a decision “right” must be considered. To answer the final question, we turn to principles and theories to balance moral goods like avoiding harm and doing good, keeping promises, being honest, acting justly, etc.

Ethics plays a crucial role in care.

One of the reasons it is important to understand the nature and role of health care ethics is because it allows you to provide care that is aligned with your personal values and professional responsibilities. Health care ethics provides a much needed framework for answering moral questions and also allows you to fulfill your healthcare responsibilities with authority and confidence. An ethics graduate program can help you learn more about the importance of ethics and how to apply healthcare ethics to challenging decisions.

Creighton University’s online Master of Science in Health Care Ethics degree will give you the tools you need to properly navigate healthcare ethics issues. To learn more about this program, call 866.717.6365 to speak to a program manager or request more information online.

1Veatch, RM, Haddad, AM, English, D. (2014). Case studies in biomedical ethics. Oxford University Press, New York.