Master’s Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete 30 credits of coursework, including 16 credits required courses and 9 credits of electives.

In addition to taking the required courses and electives, students will complete a Practicum and a Portfolio & Capstone Project. 

Email CatholicClinicalEthics@georgetown.edu to inquire about the most current electives offerings, as the availability of courses may vary from semester to semester. 

CHECKLIST

   6 Required Courses (16 credits)

   3 Electives (9 credits)

   Practicum (3 credits)

   Portfolio & Capstone Project (2 credits)

 

Required Courses

The following 6 core courses are required for the Master of Arts Degree in Catholic Clinical Ethics. All the courses are online except the Practicum.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

Course Directors:
Paul Scherz, Catholic University of America

This course will introduce students to the most necessary theological and general philosophical concepts regarding anthropology, social ethics, and health for them to effectively function as ethicists in a Catholic health care institution. A solid foundation in the philosophical and theological concepts related to medicine will be instrumental in addressing the challenging conceptual and practical ethical questions that arise in healthcare. Each class will examine a specific concept through the use of a case study supplemented by background readings. Topics covered will include: healthcare as a vocation, the doctor-patient relationship, dignity, embodiment, autonomy, suffering, death, technology, and justice in the distribution of healthcare.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

Course Directors:
Paul Scherz, Catholic University of America
Kevin FitzGerald, Georgetown University Medical Center

This course will introduce students to the necessary ethical concepts to analyze individual cases and actions. The first few classes will discuss prerequisite knowledge but it will swiftly move into using case studies to illuminate the tools of the Catholic moral tradition. This course will primarily introduce students to prerequisite knowledge for the rest of the program, the skills of case analysis, the ability to recognize other ethical viewpoints, and the ability to list alternative possibilities.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: Previous or Concurrent enrollment in Philosophy of Medicine & Applied Ethical Reasoning

Course Directors:
G. Kevin Donovan, Georgetown University Medical Center
Claudia Ruiz Sotomayor, Georgetown University Medical Center

This is a case-based, foundational course that introduces students to theoretical and practical ethics/bioethics in healthcare. This course will analyze continuing controversies in bioethics and emerging, controverted bioethical issues through case analysis. The primary emphasis will be developing the higher skills of ethical reasoning by applying conceptual tools learned in earlier courses to a broader range of case studies, but students will also be obtaining important prerequisite knowledge on these topics as they analyze the cases. Topics covered will vary based on emerging problems in Catholic clinical ethics but examples include: whole genome newborn screening, artificial nutrition and hydration, organ markets, research design for Ebola vaccine trials, and addressing noncompliant patients.

3 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: Philosophy of Medicine; Applied Ethical Reasoning; Foundations of Catholic Clinical Bioethics

Course Directors:
John Grabowski, Catholic University of America

Building on knowledge gained in previous courses (i.e. Philosophy of Medicine and Foundations of Catholic Clinical Bioethics) on Christian anthropology, students will discuss respect for the human person and autonomy, as well as suffering and health and the limits of medicine. Students will work through and reflect on cases that highlight issues of informed consent, privacy, the dangers of technology, and other ethical concerns relevant in the medical setting.

3 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: Philosophy of Medicine; Applied Ethical Reasoning; Foundations of Catholic Clinical Bioethics

Course Directors:
Joseph Capizzi, Catholic University of America

This course explores Catholic clinical ethics in depth and helps students to work towards fluency in ethical reasoning and analysis. Course material includes: the sources and elements of Catholic ethical reasoning, alternative models of ethical reasoning (including discussion of other religions, law and ethics, and religion in the pluralist public square), and ethical analysis of specific cases.

1 credits | Summer Semester
Prerequisites: Philosophy of Medicine; Applied Ethical Reasoning; Foundations of Catholic Clinical Bioethics; Medicine, Health and the Human Person; Applied Catholic Clinical Ethics

Course Directors:
Kevin FitzGerald, Georgetown University Medical Center

Advanced Ethical Reasoning will focus on developing the level of fluency in and mastery of case analysis and ethics education that the CHA requires for systems-level ethicists. It will focus on: developing a deeper knowledge of KSA methodology so that students can develop their own portfolios and direct others in developing portfolios; introducing students to the mechanics of how consultations occur; developing conflict resolution skills; and introducing students to resources for developing their own ethics education programs.

3 credits | Summer Semester
Prerequisites: Philosophy of Medicine; Applied Ethical Reasoning; Foundations of Catholic Clinical Bioethics; Medicine, Health and the Human Person; Applied Catholic Clinical Ethics; concurrent enrollment in Advanced Ethical Reasoning in Case Consultation

Course Directors:
G. Kevin Donovan, Georgetown University Medical Center
Allen Roberts, Georgetown University Medical Center
Dennis Murphy, Georgetown University Medical Center
Dan Sulmasy, Georgetown University Medical Center

The course will include asynchronous and synchronous preparations for mediation and consult skills. It will conclude with a multiday onsite component. While staying at CUA, students will be exposed to the spirituality that undergirds Catholic clinical ethics and will engage in discussions of Catholic spiritual and sacramental practices as they relate to medical care. At Georgetown University Medical Center Department of Medicine, students will engage in simulated case consultations. Some consults may take place at Washington Hospital Center’s Ethical Consult Simulation Program.

2 credits | Summer Semester
Prerequisites: Philosophy of Medicine; Applied Ethical Reasoning; Foundations of Catholic Clinical Bioethics; Medicine, Health and the Human Person; Applied Catholic Clinical Ethics; Advanced Ethical Reasoning in Case Consultation

Course Directors:
Individually determined for each student

Portfolio Project
A typical Portfolio will consist of all the student’s reflective writing assignments completed during the program, accompanied by a synopsis of all the included work, written in light of knowledge gained in coursework and prior learning experiences.

Capstone
In addition to the Portfolio, each MA student will write a research paper focused on an issue chosen by the student and an instructor.  This paper will provide additional evidence of the student’s ability to investigate, evaluate, and provide recommended action to address a selected issue in clinical ethics.