Ethics & the Law

A series of web pages introduce core concepts and principles in medical ethics and the law. These principles are introduced in a session in the Introduction Unit, and are then illustrated in various classroom discussions. 
Your real challenge lies in applying these principles to actual situations, and this is best learned through discussion and debate. Class time in the Professionalism curriculum, and in various sessions (such as End of Life care in Unit 1, and several sessions in Integration Unit) is devoted to discussing the application of these principles to real cases. 

Several books provide good, practical introductions to how to apply the principles.

  • An excellent book, which presents a Canadian perspective, is by P.C. Hébert: Doing right: a practical guide to ethics for medical trainees and physicians. Oxford University Press, 1995 (library call number R724.H39).
  • John Williams produced a Medical Ethics Manual for medical students, published by the World Medical Association, 2005. (Click here for a link to download the Manual - see at the bottom of the page).
  • Another useful book is by Hope T, Savulescu J, Hendrick J. Medical ethics and law: the core curriculum. Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, 2003.
  • Finally, there is The Cambridge textbook of bioethics, edited by P.A. Singer and A.M. Viens (Cambridge U Press, 2008) which provides very succinct overviews of the major components of medical ethics, and also addresses fields of application (reproduction, end of life, research...).

Here are the introductory pages on the SIM web site:

SIM theme on ethics and medical law