A group of physicians huddled at a table


Bioethics is the study of ethical, social and legal issues that arise in biomedicine and biomedical research.

The relevance of bioethics varies from birth to the end of life. Bioethics provides guidelines to medical professionals about clinical decision-making and advancements in medical technologies; it also demonstrates the vital role medical ethics have played in policy changes and legislation in recent years.

The Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism philosophy maintains that ethical assumptions and values underlie personal decision-making, whether or not we are aware of it. Value assumptions drive decision-making in professional and civic life, as well as in business, law, medicine, politics and the public forum. It is only through frank, honest and informed conversations about our most fundamental values that we can have professional relationships that are not hindered by outside direction or control.

Our Bioethics programs aim to give clinicians, social workers, chaplaincy, nurses and lay individuals who wish to seek out Bioethics education the background and training to engage in the teaching of ethics, ethics research, ethics consultations and difficult bedside ethical issues. Students with advanced education in bioethics help better prepare tomorrow's health care professionals by reinforcing the "human side" of medicine and the patient's perspective.

Why Study Bioethics?

The advanced study of bioethics (Master’s) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix brings together liberal arts disciplines — including philosophy, history, and sociology of science, psychology, sociology and anthropology — with the expertise from the college's faculty and other key university partners (College of Law, College of Public Health, Department of Philosophy and the College of Humanities). The proposed program is dedicated to exploring how ethical issues underlie the decisions that shape our minds, lives and society. The purpose is to inspire and advance scholarship and education in ethics, ignite leaders' moral imagination in all walks of life, and foster lives of moral meaning and ethical engagement.

Educational Opportunities