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Another FaCTS Mellon Project

Teaching Healthcare Reform in Health Ethics Classes

Dr. Jason Berntsen

by Dr. Jason Berntsen

This project squarely addresses each of the elements of social responsibility identified by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Adding a more detailed discussion of health care policy to the class promises to enhance students' appreciation of the differences between abstract theorizing about social justice and engaging in real world policy debates. For example, it will help the students see how considerations of political feasibility, fiscal constraints, and intractable disagreements about fundamental values play different roles in concrete health care policy debates than in ore abstract discussions of what constitutes a just allocation of health care resources. This addition to the course will thus help the students grow in their capacity for ethical reasoning and for translating what issues from ethical reasoning into action and real change. It will also enhance students' civic knowledge by encouraging them to engage the current national debate over health care policy. At the same time it will help them to develop the argumentative and analytical skills that are necessary for participating effectively in this debate. Furthermore, many of these skills generalize to other important matters of public debate, such as the debate over how to reform public education. Examining different health care systems across the world will also increase the students' intercultural knowledge. Finally, since debates over crucial matters of public policy will always be with us, this change in the course will help the students develop a foundation and skills for lifelong learning.

Start date: Monday, May 14, 2012
Finish date: Wednesday, May 8, 2013