Print Version

Effective: Summer 2014

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: R T 54A; one of the following: ENGL 1A, 1AH, 1S & 1T or ESLL 26.
Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in R T 50A.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
2 hours lecture. (24 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Describe the elements and implications of informed consent in relation to patient autonomy and nonmalficence of the Radiologic Technologist.
  • Define specific legal doctrines to include vicarious liability, repondeat superior, and res ispa loquitur and how they apply to the practice of Radiologic Technology.
Description -
A fundamental background in ethics, historical and philosophical basis of ethics, as well as elements of ethical behavior in regards to clinical practice. Misconduct, malpractice, legal and professional standards and the ASRT scope of practice. Intended for students in the Radiologic Technology Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. describe the origins of the healing arts and list the major milestones in the development of codes of behavior and ethical standards in the healing arts.
  2. explain the role of ethical behavior in health care delivery in terms of personal honesty, integrity, accountability, competence and compassion.
  3. employ a basic system of examination, clarification, determination of alternatives and decision-making in addressing ethical questions.
  4. explain the legal responsibilities of the profession and the legal doctrines that govern them.
  5. explain select concepts embodied in principles of patient's rights, the doctrine of informed patient consent and other issues related to patient rights.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Multimedia classroom, visualizer, internet access

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Historical Context (Lec)
    1. Origins of the healing arts
    2. Principles, duties and virtues of a health professional
    3. Milestones in the history of medical ethics.
  2. Ethics and Ethical Behavior (Lec)
    1. Moral reasoning
    2. Personal behavior standards
    3. Competence
    4. Professional attributes
      1. Compassion
      2. Empathy
      3. Sympathy
      4. Honesty
      5. Integrity
      6. Accountability
    5. Scope of practice defined
    6. Self-assessment and self governance
    7. Continuing professional education
    8. Professional standards
    9. Code of professional ethics
    10. Ethical principles
      1. Beneficence
      2. Non-malfeasance
      3. Respect for autonomy
    11. Organization ethics
    12. Analyzing ethical problems
  3. Ethical Issues in Health Care (Lec)
    1. Individual and societal rights
    2. Autonomy vs. behavior control
    3. Financing health care
    4. Technology and scarce resources
    5. Access to quality health care
    6. Human experimentation and research
    7. Medical/health care research
    8. End of life decisions
    9. Ethical decision making
  4. Legal Responsibilities (Lec)
    1. Professional liability
      1. direct
      2. indirect
    2. Intentional misconduct
      1. libel and slander
      2. assault and battery
      3. false imprisonment
      4. invasion of privacy
      5. breach of confidentiality
    3. Negligence/malpractice
      1. definitions
      2. elements
    4. Legal doctrines
      1. vicarious liability
      2. respondeat superior
      3. res ipsa loquitur
    5. Legal and professional standards
      1. Standard of care
      2. Scope of practice
        1. Restraints versus immobilization
    6. Protection
      1. Individual
        1. HIPAA
      2. Institutional
  5. Patient Rights (Lec)
    1. Consent
      1. Definition
      2. Types
      3. Condition for valid consent
      4. Voluntary
      5. American Hospital Association (AHA and Joint Commission Standard for disclosure)
      6. Documentation of consent
Methods of Evaluation -
Methods of evaluation may include, but are not limited to:
  1. Quizzes
  2. Midterms
  3. Research paper
  4. Creative group project
  5. Discussion participation
  6. Final examination
Representative Text(s) -
Towsley-Cook, D.M. & Young, T.A. Ethical and Legal Issues For Imaging Professionals, 2nd Edition. St. Louis: Mosby, 2007. ISBN: 978-032304-5995
Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it still remains a seminal text in this area of study.

Disciplines -
Radiologic Technology
Method of Instruction -
Methods of instruction may include, but are not limited to lecture, discussion, and cooperative learning exercises.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
A.Weekly reading assignments from text and syllabus.
B.Written research paper based on a medical malpractice case. Student must assess the case for medical negligence; evaluate which of the ethical principles were violated and utilizing the Dowd Model outline the issue and steps necessary to avoid similar situations in the future.
C.Research and planning of an individual creative project involving Radiologic Technology professional code of ethics.