Ethics Made Fascinating and Pertinent for Practitioners

Bring ethical theory into your clinical practice and your personal life to increase confidence and strengthen your ethical decision making skills.


Length: 4 hours

Instructor: G. Elijah Dann | Ph.D., Th.D.


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Need to know

Who is this course for?
Western Herbalists, Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, Practitioners & Advanced General Interest
Course length (start & watch when you want)
4 hours of video content
Course credits
4 CEUs / PDAs

*Please note that many of the associations listed under ‘CEUs/PDAs’ do not formally pre-approve online courses for credits, and thus require the student to track their own online course hours to submit for approval for their annual CEU/PDA requirements.

AcNZ, CAIN, CHA of BC, CTCMA (Category A2 & B), CTCMPAO, NCCAOM (ET), NZASA (Category 1), DCA, CTCMPAO, BCNA (category C), AHA, NANP (Category 2), CNPBC (Category C), HCA
Lifetime access · Certificate of completion

Meet your course instructor

G. Elijah Dann | Ph.D., Th.D.

G. Elijah Dann has doctorates in philosophy and theology. For a number of years, he taught health care ethics in Ontario, including at the University of Waterloo and the University of Western Ontario. He also taught various courses in philosophy and religion at the University of Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier University. For eight years he was the clinical ethicist for the Kitchener/Waterloo regional hospital. Professor Dann has published books on philosophy, ethical theory, and religion. He currently is adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and Quest University in British Columbia.

Course description

Learn about ethical theory from the ground up! This fascinating course will guide you through the ethical theories that have been proposed throughout the ages; their importance, and relative strengths and weakness. You will also learn about the nature of patient autonomy, rights, and in particular, patient rights. This course will provide you with conceptual tools and a deep understanding of ethics and moral decision making to support you in clinical practice and in overall life.

G. Elijah Dann discusses interesting case studies, personal stories from his work as a clinical ethicist, and other relevant examples to demonstrate ethical theories. Additionally, at the end of the course you can look forward to watching a conversation between Elijah and a registered acupuncturist / professor who shares some common questions that arise in her practice and among her students.

This course was designed for you, the practitioner, to be able to think creatively and independently when it comes to moral decision making.

You will learn about:

  • The language of ethics and rights
  • The most important ethical theories formulated to guide human action
  • Ethical theories applied to relevant examples in healthcare
  • How moral theories might address various issues of ethics as they arise in the general field of health care practices and treatment
  • The language of rights and duties and in particular, the various components to patient rights and the importance they serve in the health care context
  • Answers to common moral questions that arise during clinical care

Lesson plan

Section I | Healthcare Ethics – Ethical Theory 

1. Introduction
Meet your instructor G. Elijah Dann as he reviews his areas of interest and experience working in the realms of ethical theory and philosophy. Elijah holds doctorates in both theology and philosophy. He is currently an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and Quest University in British Columbia and is a contributor to The Huffington Post. In this introduction, Elijah presents what you can look forward to learning in this course.

2. Ethical Theory
Elijah presents some quotes to introduce the processes of ethical decision making and questioning public morality. He discusses the importance of being involved in the public affairs and politics of your society or community.

3. The Language of Ethics
Elijah sets a foundation for the course by defining the terms he will be using throughout his teachings. He explains the terms, “ethics” and “morals,” the relationship between them, the use of these terms throughout history, and how they are used in contemporary language.

4. Ethical Perspectives | Part I
In order to discuss healthcare ethics, it is important to understand the variety of ethical perspectives that have stood the test of time. In this section, Elijah discusses consequentialist theories for ethical decision making. You will learn about ethical egoism, act utilitarianism, and the utilitarian calculus, drawing on the work of John Stuart Mill. To compare and contrast different theories, Elijah presents their strengthens and weaknesses and applies these concepts to relevant examples.

5. Ethical Perspectives | Part II
Elijah continues the discussion about ethical perspectives for decision making. He explains rule utilitarianism and raises many interesting questions for you to ponder. After completing this section, you will be equipped with the skills to compare moral theories that can be used to justify decisions in both personal and professional life.

6.  Ethical Perspectives | Part III
Elijah provides a review of the theories previously presented and introduces deolontogical monism. This theory, developed by Immanuel Kant, is in opposition to the utilitarianism theories you have learned about.  Elijah raises various philosophical questions to provoke deep thought about solving moral dilemmas and uses examples of medically assisted suicide and recreational use of cannabis to examine this theory.

7.  Ethical Perspectives | Part IV 
Elijah builds on Kant’s theory of deolontological monism and explains its strengths and weaknesses. You will also learn about natural law moral theory which is associated with philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas. Elijah also discusses virtues, goodness, and rightness.

8.  Ethical Perspectives | Part V
Elijah continues on the topic of virtues. This leads to a discussion about the ethics of care, which is especially relevant to healthcare. You will learn about the facets of this body of thought which include moral attention, sympathetic understanding, relationship awareness, accommodation, and response. Elijah then presents, the questions of moral relativism, tying in concepts from earlier in the lecture. Rest assured, don’t feel that you need to completely align yourself with any of the theories presented here. You can combine these theories with your own moral intuition to strengthen your ethical decision-making skills.

Section 2 | Autonomy and Patient Rights

9. Autonomy and Patient Rights Introduction
Elijah introduces the next section of the course, Autonomy and Patient Rights. This section will build upon the ethical theories previously presented and apply them to healthcare ethics.

10. Defining Autonomy
Elijah discusses patient rights and explains the three aspects of autonomy which include liberty of action, freedom of choice, and effective deliberation. Once these three senses of autonomy are realized, you can ensure you are treating your patient appropriately.

11. The Nature of Patient Rights | Part I
Elijah explains the five reasons for why there is enhanced concern over patient rights. He answers the question, “What is the purpose of patient rights?”

12. The Nature of Patient Rights | Part II
Are human rights something we discover or something that has been invented? Elijah presents two ways of thinking about human rights. 

13. The Basic Rights of the Patient | Part I
Elijah explains the types of rights which include negative rights, positive rights, and inalienable rights. With the use of examples from the healthcare systems in Canada and The United States, the different types of rights will be very clear.

14. The Basic Rights of the Patient | Part II
A continued discussion about the types of rights. Elijah explains the importance of defining terms in conversations surrounding morals and ethics. Elijah provides an analysis of rights by looking at what entities have rights. Additional patient rights are discussed including the right to informed consent and the right to privacy and confidentiality.

15. A Conversation About Patient Rights and Ethics | Part I
A discussion between Elijah and registered acupuncturist and professor Gillian Marsollier about applying the theories you’ve learned to clinical practice. During this fascinating discussion, Gillian shares some common ethical questions that come up in her practice and with her students. You will hear Elijah’s professional guidance in navigating these challenging situations and his thought process in ethical decision making.

16. A Conversation About Patient Rights and Ethics | Part II
This section is a continuation of the discussion between Elijah and Gillian. Elijah applies ethical theory to some of his experiences working as a clinical ethicist at a hospital. Following this section, you will feel prepared to practice ethical decision making in a healthcare setting. You are now equipped with skills to collect relevant facts, facilitate open dialogue, and use effective questioning to arrive at ethical decisions.

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