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Level I Health Ethics Workshop
There is an online Level I Health Ethics Workshop offered occasionally which is set up with material to read and/or video to watch each week. Discussion questions are posted and participants are expected to respond to the questions and engage in online conversation with the other participants throughout the week. Each week, the course-related work can be done at the participant's convenience. The expected time commitment is 1-2 hours per week. The participant must have posted their comment and responses within that week for participation credit. Certificates of completion will be given to anyone who participates in the online discussions during all eight weeks.

Introduction to Ethics for Health Care Aides
This course is for health care aides who have never studied ethics before. It will help you understand some of the things that are important when you are deciding what is the right thing to do. The cases are based on real situations you might see every day.

Anyone is welcome to access the course, even people who are not working as health care aides. Examples and case studies reflect the daily work of health care aides. All the concepts and principes will apply to other health care workers too.

This course can be done alone or in a group. There are different learning activities for each part. Each section should take you about 15 to 20 minutes to finish. If you are working with a group, it might take longer. It is a good idea to discuss the examples and questions with others.

This course can be completed by yourself, or with a group. For educators who would like to facilitate this in a group setting, the Facilitator's Guide provides detail on the learning objectives, and an answer key for the activities.

To give us feedback, make suggestions, or tell us about your course experience, please consider our feedback survey.

For more information, please contact us.


A number of high-profile universities are posting their courses online. These are usually non-credit courses that are free to take. Most courses include video recording of the lectures, a reading list and the assignments. You can work at these courses at your own pace. Ask us if the one you are thinking about will fulfill the Level II: Ethics Resource Workshop pre-requisite. You can also check open online course sites like Coursera.

Here is a sample of courses in ethical and moral philosophy available from other universities.

General introduction to moral philosophy

  • MIT, open course, lectures downloadable.
  • This course will focus on issues that arise in contemporary public debate concerning matters of social justice. Topics will likely include: euthanasia, gay marriage, racism and racial profiling, free speech, hunger and global inequity. Students will be exposed to multiple points of view on the topics and will be given guidance in analyzing the moral frameworks informing opposing positions. The goal will be to provide the basis for respectful and informed discussion of matters of common moral concern.

Introduction to moral philosophy with a focus on moral issues in contemporary health sciences

  • MIT
  • This course does not seek to provide answers to ethical questions. Instead, the course hopes to teach students two things.
    1. How do you recognize ethical or moral problems in science and medicine? When something does not feel right (whether cloning, or failing to clone) - what exactly is the nature of the discomfort? What kind of tensions and conflicts exist within biomedicine?
    2. How can you think productively about ethical and moral problems? What processes create them? Why do people disagree about them? How can an understanding of philosophy or history help resolve them? By the end of the course students will hopefully have sophisticated and nuanced ideas about problems in bioethics, even if they do not have comfortable answers.


  • MIT
  • This is a seminar on classic and contemporary work on central topics in ethics. The first third of the course will focus on metaethics: we will examine the meaning of moral claims and ask whether there is any sense in which moral principles are objectively valid. The second third of the course will focus on normative ethics: what makes our lives worth living, what makes our actions right or wrong, and what do we owe to others? The final third of the course will focus on moral character: what is virtue, and how important is it? Can we be held responsible for what we do? When and why?

Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics: Playing God or Doing Good?

  • MIT
  • This course is an introduction to the cross-cultural study of bio-medical ethics. It examines moral foundations of the science and practice of western bio-medicine through case studies of abortion, contraception, cloning, organ transplantation, and other issues. It also evaluates challenges that new medical technologies pose to the practice and availability of medical services around the globe, and to cross-cultural ideas of kinship and personhood. It discusses critiques of the bio-medical tradition from anthropological, feminist, legal, religious, and cross-cultural theorists.

A Romp Through Ethics for Complete Beginners

  • Academic Earth
  • In this introduction to ethics, we shall be considering the underpinnings of ethical thought. We shall consider, for example, what it is for an action to be right or wrong, whether we can have moral knowledge and whether freewill is essential to morality. We shall reflect on four key ethical theories (virtue ethics, deontology, non-cognitivism and utilitarianism), looking at both their strengths and their weaknesses. We shall be looking at morality in the context of the individual and the context of society.

Harvard University's Justice with Michael Sandel

  • Nearly one thousand students pack Harvard's historic Sanders Theater to hear Michael Sandel, an engaging and world renowned ethics scholar talk about justic, equality, democracy, and citizenship. Watch the videos from his Harvard University lecture series. This is a highly recommended resource for anyone interested in ethics and ethical theory. Sandel does an excellent job of making a potentially dry subject area not only understandable, but fascinating.

Public Health Ethics

  • A short online course offered by the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Consists of eight interactive modules on Public Health Ethics that can be accessed at any time. The course is free, but requires login.


Other online learning opportunities may be available through Accredited Schools Online.

Videos can be great ways to learn more about ethics, but finding recent videos about specific health topics can be difficult. Here are some suggestions:

Audio recordings can also be a useful source of information for people interested in ethics. Check out:

Look through your health education resource libraries or shelves. If you have "ethics" in mind, you'll be surprised at what resources may appear.