The Health Professional Ethics Rubric: Practical Assessment in Ethics Education for Health Professional Schools
- 505 Downloads
A barrier to the development and refinement of ethics education in and across health professional schools is that there is not an agreed upon instrument or method for assessment in ethics education. The most widely used ethics education assessment instrument is the Defining Issues Test (DIT) I & II. This instrument is not specific to the health professions. But it has been modified for use in, and influenced the development of other instruments in, the health professions. The DIT contains certain philosophical assumptions (“Kohlbergian” or “neo-Kohlbergian”) that have been criticized in recent years. It is also expensive for large institutions to use. The purpose of this article is to offer a rubric—which the authors have named the Health Professional Ethics Rubric—for the assessment of several learning outcomes related to ethics education in health science centers. This rubric is not open to the same philosophical critiques as the DIT and other such instruments. This rubric is also practical to use. This article includes the rubric being advocated, which was developed by faculty and administrators at a large academic health science center as a part of a campus-wide ethics education initiative. The process of developing the rubric is described, as well as certain limitations and plans for revision.
KeywordsEthics Ethics Education Assessment Rubric Interprofessional Health Professional
The Health Professional Ethics Rubric (Table 2) was developed in 2009 as a part of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The rubric is reprinted here with the permission of The McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics. The McGovern Center administers the QEP. Information about the QEP, as well as the plan itself, can be found here: http://www.uth.tmc.edu/hhhs/programs/qep/index.html.
The authors wish to express gratitude to the Campus-Wide Ethics Program faculty at UTHealth and to the Quality Enhancement Plan Advisory Team for their assistance in developing this rubric. The authors also wish to express gratitude to Jayne McWherter and to Muhammad Walji for incorporating the rubric into their courses at the School of Dentistry at UTHealth, and to Cheryl Erwin for incorporating the rubric into the Ethical Dimensions of Biomedical Research course. And, finally, the authors would like to thank Angela Polczynski for help in collecting and managing data for this article, as well as for help in preparing the manuscript.
- Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2010). Ethical reasoning VALUE rubric. Retrieved July 15, 2010. http://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/pdf/ethicalreasoning.pdf.
- Arras, J. D. (1991). Getting down to cases: the revival of casuistry in bioethics. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 16(1), 29–51.Google Scholar
- Baldwin, D. C., & Self, D. J. (2006). The assessment of moral reasoning and professionalism in medical education and practice. In D. Stern (Ed.), Measuring medical professionalism (pp. 75–93). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2009). Principles of biomedical ethics (6th ed.). Oxford University Press: New York.Google Scholar
- Beemsterboer, P. L. (2010). Ethics and law in dental hygiene (2nd ed.). St Louis: Saunders Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Bertolami, C. N. (2004). Why our ethics curricula don’t work. Journal of Dental Education, 68(4), 414–25.Google Scholar
- Chambers, T. (2006). Bioethics, religion, and linguistic capital. In D. Guin (Ed.), Handbook of bioethics and religion (pp. 81–92). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Engel, G. L. (1980). The clinical application of the biopsychosocial model. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137(5), 535–544.Google Scholar
- Fletcher, J. C., et al. (1997). Introduction to clinical ethics (2nd ed.). Frederick: University Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Geertz, C. (1973). Interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Gibbs, J. C., & Widaman, K. F. (1982). Social intelligence: Measuring the development of sociomoral reflection. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Harvard University Press: Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Israel, M., & Hay, I. (2006). Research ethics for the social scientist. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Jennings, et al. (2003). Ethics and public health: A model curriculum. http://www.asph.org/UserFiles/EthicsCurriculum.pdf.
- Jonsen, A. R., & Toulmin, S. (1990). The abuse of casuistry: A history of moral reasoning. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Kohlberg, L. (1981). The philosophy of moral development: Moral stages and the idea of justice (essays on moral development, volume 1). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
- Kohlberg, L. (1984). The psychology of moral development: the nature and validity of moral stages (essays on moral development, volume 2). HarperCollins College Division: New York.Google Scholar
- Pellegrino, E. (1995). Toward a virtue-based normative ethics for the health professions. Kennedy Institute of Ethic Journal, 5(3), 253–277.Google Scholar
- Rest, J. R. (1979). Development in judging moral issues. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Siegler, M., Rezler, A. G., & Connell, K. J. (1982). Using simulated case studies to evaluate a clinical ethics course for junior students. Journal of Medical Education, 57(5), 380–385.Google Scholar
- Stern, D. T. (Ed.). (2006). Measuring medical professionalism. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Tronto, J. (2005). An ethic of care. In A. Cudd & R. Andreason (Eds.), Feminist theory: A philosophical anthology (pp. 251–263). Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar