Content for Teaching Medical Ethics

What do medical students and others preparing for health care careers need to know about medical ethics? How can they learn it now, when COVID-19 has swiftly disrupted both education and health care? 

The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy (MEHP) offers teaching resources—including video segments on clinical ethics and research ethics designed by leading experts—to help instructors and students to meet this need. Material will be available for noncommercial use, free of charge, through June 30, 2022. 

Resources are developed by Penn faculty and the MEHP Online Education team, founded in 2015 to build Penn’s first online master’s degree program.

request free access

Medical Ethics Online Content

Medical ethics lecture videos from Penn MEHP Online Education are available streaming on demand for course instructors and their students. During the coronavirus COVID-19 disruption, these brief videos may be used for noncommercial purposes by instructors to complement their own asynchronous or synchronous discussions. Learn more about choosing between synchronous and asynchronous teaching options on the Best Practices page.

Access to medical ethics content is free through June 30, 2022, for affiliates (faculty, students, or staff) of colleges, universities, and other noncommercial learning groups. Copyright is retained by the University of Pennsylvania.

Contact MEHP Online to receive access instructions by email. 

Students who need existing online medical ethics courses, with readings and quizzes as well as lectures, may want to consider Penn MEHP Online Education’s Continuing Education offerings.

Clinical Ethics

This series is designed to provide practical knowledge for medical students, doctors, and other clinicians on how to make ethical evaluations in clinical situations related to privacy and patient trust, assessing capacity, medical decision making, end-of-life care, and treatment of minors.

Clinical Ethics for Medical Students, taught by Steven Joffe, MD, MPH; Joshua B. Kayser, MD, MPH, MBe; Emily Largent, JD, PhD; Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBe; Jennifer S. Myers, MD; Dominic Sisti, PhD  

Children's Roles in Medical Decisions, taught by Steven Joffe, MD, MPH 

Duty to Warn (Tarasoff Duties), taught by Dominic A. Sisti, PhD 

Ethics and COVID-19, taught by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD et al.

Ethics of Psychiatric Diagnosis at a Distance (The Goldwater Rule), taught by Dominic A. Sisti, PhD 

Neuroethics, taught by Jonathan D. Moreno, PhD 

Rationing Care, taught by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD

Research Ethics

This series surveys basic knowledge and skills for making ethical evaluations on research protocols as part of human subjects research. Designed for clinicians and those who require training in the protection of human research participants, it includes an overview of specific ethical guidelines and regulatory requirements.

Ethics of Research with Human Subjects, taught by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD; Steven Joffe, MD, MPH; Emily Largent, JD, PhD; Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBe  

Ask your institution to accept Penn MEHP Online's course Ethics of Research with Human Subjects to meet the NIH and other requirements for human subjects protection training. 

Conflicts of Interest in Biomedical Research, taught by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD 

Ethics and Trial Design, taught by Steven Joffe, MD, MPH

Health Care Innovation Content

A select subset of Penn’s health care innovation online education material is available through Coursera and SAGE Publishing. 

Health Care Innovation Open Access Resource Library 

Interviews, lectures, handouts, and reading materials related to innovation methodology, design thinking, and human centered design in health care. Access the Health Care Innovation Open Access Video Library.  

The Economics of Health Care Delivery, taught by Guy David, PhD, and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD 

This course examines the complex structure of the health care system and health insurance. Learn about the key components of health care, and the economics behind their principles and pricing strategies. 

The Economics of Health Care Delivery series is part of the SAGE Video Nursing collection. Available with free 90-day access, here.

Also available on Coursera.

Health Care Innovation (Coursera), taught by David A. Asch, MD, MBA; Amol S. Navathe, MD, PhD; Roy Rosin, MBA; Christian Terwiesch, PhD; Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD

This course provides a sample of theories and best practices from health care applications of behavioral economics, policy and program evaluation, operations management, and innovation. 

Available on Coursera.