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Healthcare 2017, 5(3), 57;

Performable Case Studies in Ethics Education

Department of Communication, and Bioethics Faculty, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA
Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Center for Bioethics, Health and Society and Graduate Program in Bioethics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ian Walsh and Helen Noble
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 3 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humanities and Healthcare)
Full-Text   |   PDF [186 KB, uploaded 13 September 2017]


Bioethics education often includes the study of short stories, novels, plays, and films, because such materials present case examples that can highlight relevant issues and questions especially vividly for a wide range of students. In addition, creative writing is widely used in the education of health professional students and in continuing education settings for health professionals. There are very few academic or professional disciplines that do not use case studies, but the case study in dialogic form has not been standard practice for thousands of years. Dramatic arts casuistry—the creation and performance of short case studies designed specifically to raise bioethics issues for discussion—represents an application of literature and the medical humanities that is both unique and uniquely valuable. This essay describes the development and history of a course that has been successfully taught to medical students and graduate bioethics students, in which the class researches, writes, and performs a case study designed to elicit reflection and discussion about a topic and set of bioethics issues of current interest to both academic and general audiences. The model is also suited to the presentation and discussion of existing case studies, both live and via on-demand audio. View Full-Text
Keywords: medical humanities; bioethics; case studies; interdisciplinary teaching; ethics teaching; readers’ theater; narrative medicine medical humanities; bioethics; case studies; interdisciplinary teaching; ethics teaching; readers’ theater; narrative medicine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Robeson, R.; King, N.M.P. Performable Case Studies in Ethics Education. Healthcare 2017, 5, 57.

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