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Certificate in Medical Ethics


The Certificate in Medical Ethics is designed to prepare medical clinicians and ethics committee members to perform competent clinical ethics case consultation in a hospital, long-term care, or clinic setting.


Medical ethics plays an important—and foundational—role in the provision of modern medical care. Whether through matching treatment plans to patient values, assuring risks and benefits are appropriated weighted and accounted for in decision making, or identifying appropriate surrogates, the responsibilities of ethics case consultation are increasingly complex.

Clinical health workers conducting ethics consultation at many hospitals lack background training in the content and methodology of clinical bioethics. This is particularly true at smaller and rural hospitals, which may rely on clinical staff who volunteer their time to the hospital ethics committee and consultation service.  To perform these functions properly, these professionals have specialized educational needs.

Taught by faculty with extensive experience in bioethics education, as well as full-time clinical ethics consultants currently practicing in hospital settings, the Certificate in Medical Ethics is designed with practicing clinicians in mind. While the content is tailored toward their needs, the delivery of the curriculum is designed to be flexible to a professional’s busy schedule. The program is aimed at providing both the conceptual framework of contemporary bioethics as well as practical skills needed for the successful conduct of clinical ethics case consultation.


Thomas May
Medical Ethics Program Director,
Floyd and Judy Rogers Endowed Professor


All courses will be available online


The certificate consists of 12 credits, divided between four courses, which are meant to be taken in sets of two concurrent 3-credit courses over one academic year.

The certificate program will be offered online through WSU’s Global Campus. Most of the course content and activities will take place asynchronously in the online course space. Students are also expected to attend a synchronous online meeting. For Fall semester 2022, this will occur every other Monday from 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Medical Ethics Certificate requires a minimum of twelve credit hours

  • MED ETH 500: conceptual foundations of bioethics (3 cr)


  • MED ETH 530: Practice of clinical ethics (3 cr)

  • MED ETH 540: Seminar in clinical ethics: methods, process, skills, traits (3 cr)

Course schedule

The course begins August 22, 2022, with the first Monday meeting occurring Monday, August 29, 2022.

Admission requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, or hold a licensed professional medical certification such as RN, PA, LPN, etc.

To apply

Please submit the following for consideration:

  • Letter of Recommendation (sent separately by email following application to

Preference for admission will be given to members of their organization’s ethics committees, but any medical professional is encouraged to apply.


Application Instructions

Admissions timeline

Applications for the certificate are now open.

Please note: First-time users can create an account and start the application at the link below.

Apply for Certificate in Medical Ethics


All applicants will be notified of their admission status by email, and accepted applicants will be sent information for program registration and course enrollment at that time.

Our team

Thomas May, PhD
Medical Ethics Program Director, Research Professor| PROFILE

Jana Craig
Clinical Faculty
Director, NCAL Regional Ethics Dept., Kaiser Permanente

William Kabasenche
Associate Professor


Our team

Alina Bennett
Clinical Faculty
Regional Ethicist, Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, NCal Regional Ethics Department

Matthew Pauley
Clinical Faculty
Regional Ethicist, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional Offices