Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 115–126 | Cite as

End-of-life ethics and disability: differing perspectives on case-based teaching

  • Joseph Kaufert
  • Rhonda Wiebe
  • Karen Schwartz
  • Lisa Labine
  • Zana Marie Lutfiyya
  • Catherine Pearse
Scientific Contribution


The way in which medical professionals engage in bioethical issues ultimately reflects the type of care such patients are likely to receive. It is therefore critical for doctors and other health care professionals to have a broad understanding of disability. Our purpose in this paper is to explore ways of teaching bioethical issues to first year medical students by integrating alternative approaches. Such approaches include (a) the use of the narrative format, (b) the inclusion of a disability perspective, and (c) the presentation and facilitation of classes by people with disabilities. We consider how these new kinds of presentations are evaluated by students, faculty, people with disabilities and professional ethicists. We hope new knowledge may provide health care professionals with a greater understanding of the perspectives of patients with disabilities, who are confronted by conflicting ethical values and frameworks for decision-making in their interaction with such professionals.


Bioethics Disability studies Ethical values Health care professionals Medical education Teaching approaches 



The preparation of this article was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Emerging Team Grant on End of Life Care and Vulnerable Populations held by Harvey M. Chochinov (P.I.), Deborah Stienstra (Co-P.I.), Zana M. Lutfiyya, Co-I.), & Joseph Kaufert (Co. I).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Kaufert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rhonda Wiebe
    • 1
  • Karen Schwartz
    • 3
  • Lisa Labine
    • 1
  • Zana Marie Lutfiyya
    • 3
  • Catherine Pearse
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Graduate Program in Disability StudiesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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