New dual degrees being offered in bioethics

Health Sciences Update | July 8, 2013

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The MA program in bioethics is by nature interdisciplinary, with faculty and students representing a variety of disciplines across Emory.

The Emory Center for Ethics has expanded its MA program in bioethics to offer dual degrees with the schools of medicine, nursing, public health, and law, adding to a joint degree program already in place with theology. The degree is offered through the Laney Graduate School.

"Health professionals routinely face ethical dilemmas in the workplace," says Toby Schonfeld, director of graduate studies for the MA-Bioethics Program. "This program offers a foundation in the major principles and theories of bioethics to help them make sound, ethically justified decisions."

The MA program in bioethics accommodates both full- and part-time students, including those with full-time jobs, says Schonfeld. "We have physicians and allied health professionals currently enrolled, for example," she says. Faculty and staff can use the university's courtesy scholarship or Emory Healthcare's tuition reimbursement to participate in the program.

For students considering dual-degree programs, the MA-Bioethics Program is particularly attractive. According to Schonfeld, "Dual-degree programs in medicine and bioethics are relatively common, but very few schools offer the MSN/MA-Bioethics or the MTS/MA-Bioethics combination, which helps differentiate Emory in the marketplace. Dual degrees guide students through the intersections between disciplines, making them better prepared to enhance patient care, participate in the design and implementation of health policy, and be essential members of the community of thinkers who create legislation, education, and opportunities for advocacy."

The MA program in bioethics is by nature interdisciplinary, with faculty and students representing a variety of disciplines across Emory. "This program can help ensure that health professionals use ethics as the driving force for all of their practice decisions," says Schonfeld.