Information on Programs: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA*

© 2011

2011 – № 1 (1)

Key words: bioethics, medical anthropology, Master’s program, PhD program, research

Abstract: In this material we give general information about Master’s and PhD programs in Bioethics offered by Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, USA), as well as a list of program courses.

Case Western Reserve University 

(Department of Bioetics, School of Medicine)

offers Master’s and PhD programs in Bioethics


Master’s program

The Department’s Master of Arts program in Bioethics emphasizes the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of the field. Since 1995, it has provided advanced training in bioethics for students and professionals who will encounter bioethical issues in the course of their primary careers.

Bioethics MA students/colleagues have the opportunity to work closely with department faculty in their specialty areas while completing the MA degree in only one year (full-time).

Highlights of the program include:

  • Nationally and internationally renowned multidisciplinary faculty with backgrounds in medicine, philosophy, law, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, public health, and history
  • Unique clinical experience with clinical ethics practicum opportunities at three major academic medical centers (University Hospitals’ Case Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland VA Medical Center)
  • New research ethics track designed to prepare specialists who will pursue research ethics-related work as a primary career (IRB coordinators, research administration, etc.) or who will use this specialized training to enhance their primary careers (investigators, regulators, etc.)

Program courses:

1)     Foundations in Bioethics I and II

The course covers ten basic topic areas in bioethics: death and dying; the therapeutic relationship; methods and theory in bioethics; organ transplantation; health care justice; defining “health care needs”; reproduction and fertility; families, babies and children; research ethics; genetics. The class meets twice per week in the evenings for seminar sessions (two hours per session.)

2)     Clinical Ethics Rotation

Students are exposed to clinical cases as they arise (e.g., during morning unit rotations), hospital ethics committees and ethics consultation programs, institutional review boards (IRBs), and hospital policies covering “do not resuscitate” orders (DNR), advance directives, withdrawal of artificial feeding, organ procurement and transplantation, and medical futility. While there will be some didactic and seminar sessions, students will spend most of their time observing rounds in relevant services (e.g., intensive care units, pediatrics, geriatrics, etc.) with leading clinicians.

3)     Electives (a wide variety of courses including “International Health Research Ethics”, “Introduction to Public Health Ethics”, “Death and Dying”, “Ethics, Law and Epidemiology”, “Medical Sociology”, “Critical issues in Research Ethics”, etc.)

PhD program

CWRU School of Medicine’s Bioethics Department created the nation’s first Ph.D. program in Bioethics in 2004. The program’s mission is to train researchers to conceptualize, design, and conduct both normative ethical analyses and empirical research on bioethics issues. Each candidate will learn how to integrate their previously mastered disciplinary skills with other scholarly approaches to produce multi-dimensional analyses of bioethical research problems. Candidates may enter the program from any discipline. All doctoral students will become familiar with the ways in which bioethical scholarship employs concepts and methods from the humanities, social sciences, clinical research, jurisprudence, and health policy.

Department of Bioethics contact information:
CWRU School of Medicine

Department of Bioethics
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4976.
Phone (216) 368-8718

Fax (216) 368-8713


Chair of the Department of Bioethics:

Stuart J. Youngner, M.D.
Professor of Bioethics, Psychiatry, and Cognitive Science 
End-of-Life Decision Making; Organ Transplantation;

Clinical Ethics Consultation; Definition of Death; Malpractice


* Information was retrieved from the official website of the Department of Bioethics:

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