This selective course is designed for students who are interested in psychiatric ethics. This may be due to an interest in either advanced application of medical ethics or psychiatry as a medical specialty. As a specialty, psychiatry frequently encounters ethical dilemmas. Some of these are shared with other medical specialties while others are unique to psychiatric practice because of the nature of mental illness. Students interested in taking this selective should be prepared to respectfully engage in challenging discussions about the ethical care of psychiatric patients.
The course will consist of two components. Part of the rotation will be spent observing the ways in which involuntary treatment proceedings occur throughout the community in the form of adult and juvenile drug and mental health courts. Additionally, there will be directed readings and small group discussion discussing ethical issues relevant to psychiatry and doing ethical case analysis. Students will need to prepare before class by completing assigned readings and individual activities (or tasks) in order to participate in class. The first day of the elective will discuss the mechanics of the course, expectations, and general overview of the topic. Finally, the students will be expected to complete a capstone project on a topic relevant to psychiatric ethics.