Joint Academic Courses

In collaboration with various schools within IU, we host multiple practicum and internship opportunities for education in contemporary healthcare ethics.

Bioethics Practicum

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FCME has partnered with the IUPUI Department of PHIL P 548, a one-time semester practicum for students interested in a bioethics concentration.  Students who elect to participate in the semester-long practicum participate in the planning of experiences intended to deepen their knowledge and understanding of clinical ethics as lived in clinical settings.  Thus, course experiences are shaped for each student individually.  

  • Practicum activities take place at IU Health Hospitals, the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM), and related physician practices and facilities.  There are a variety of requirements, including attending at least six biweekly meetings of the IU Health Ethics Consultation Sub-Committee.  These meetings occur on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Enrollment in the practicum is limited and subject to approval by FCME.  Students who wish to be considered for the practicum should first contact Dr. Peter Schwartz.  A brief application form is required.  Selected candidates will be invited for an interview to discuss an optimal education experience.

More information on course requirements can be found on the IUPUI website.

Click here for more information

Health Law and Ethics Externship

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FCME has partnered with the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law to create a one-semester externship for qualified law students with an interest in health law.  The Health Law & Ethics Externship with FCME exposes students to the complex interconnections between health law and clinical (patient care) ethics.  The program is intended to enhance the students’ skills in health law case and statutory analysis through understanding essential aspects of organizational, clinical, and professional ethics in health care.  Students will experience practical applications of the rules and regulations designed to meet state and federal requirements.  The relationship between the law, the legal profession, and ethical practice in health care will be illustrated in case discussions and research projects.  The primary learning activity includes meeting with the Fairbanks Fellowship in Clinical Ethics in their weekly medical ethics seminars, where experts on various medical ethics issues discuss topics. These seminars take place on Wednesdays.  Sessions are generally 90-120 minutes, with one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Participation is required as your schedule allows.  Requirements also include attending the bi-weekly ethics consultations service meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays every month from 7:30-8:30 a.m.  The hospital ethics committee meets on the 3rd Friday every month from 7:00-8:30 a.m., while this meeting is not required, this provides a look at the institutional approach to clinical ethics.  Your other primary activity is to work closely with the Director of Clinical Ethics, Jane Hartsock, JD, in various policy related research.  Your final project will culminate in a presentation to the IU Health Ethics Committee.  Use of research data and publication of material generated during the Health Law & Ethics externship shall be at the discretion of the FCME Director.

For additional information contact:
Brittany Kelly JD, MSW, LSW,
Associate Director, Hall Center for Law and Health

Intro to Clinical Ethics

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This course is a collaboration with Indiana University and serves as an introduction examining the foundations of clinical ethics and the scholarly literature of this discipline.  This course will allow students to gain exposure to the practice of clinical ethics within the IU Health Academic Health Center.   Students will gain understanding of ethical issues related to informed consent, capacity, discharge planning, surrogate decision making, end of life issues, and pediatric medicine. Students will also conduct preliminary research on the literature of clinical ethics.  The foremost objective of this course is to help students develop a broad understanding of clinical ethics.

Intro to Clinical Ethics is open to undergraduate and graduate students.  Students will attend a one-hour didactic on Mondays from 10-11 a.m. over the course of the semester.  Students will be required to attend a minimum of the following:

  • One Ethics Lecture of their choice from the FCME Lecture Series, which usually occur on the first Wednesday of the month from 12-1 p.m. during the academic school year
  • One Ethics Subcommittee Consultation Meeting; These occur on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month from 7:30-8:30 a.m.
  • One Ethics Committee Meeting; This meeting occurs on the 3rd Friday of the month from 7:00-8:30 a.m.

For more information about this course email Professor Jane Hartsock

PhD Program

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The Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics sponsors and serves as the primary home for doctoral research for students pursing the PhD in American Studies with a Medical Humanities Track and a Clinical Ethics focus.  This program is in collaboration with the American Studies Program and the Medical Humanities and Health Studies (MHHS) Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.  Building on the wealth of Medical Humanities and Bioethics resources available on the Indianapolis campus, FCME and MHHS faculty serve as the primary mentors for this program, which makes the IUH Academic Health Center available for students’ field/dissertation work in Clinical Ethics.  At the completion of the program, the student will have a PhD in American Studies in the Medical Humanities Track with a Focus on Clinical Ethics.  The student also graduates having completed the Fairbanks Fellowship in Clinical Ethics and with a PhD minor in Philosophy.  

Our program is currently full - we will post here when applications are open.

Internal Medicine Resident Elective

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Internal Medicine residents at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) are invited to participate in a month-long ethics elective sponsored and coordinated by the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics.  Residents are expected to spend a total of 9 hours per week engaged in activities related to the elective.

Residents will gain experience in various aspects of hospital-based clinical ethics activities, such as clinical ethics consultation, chaplaincy and the religious and spiritual aspects of hospital ethics, and legal aspects of medical ethics and health law.

Required activities include:

  • Attendance at the Ethics Subcommittee Consultation Meeting on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month from 7:30-8:30am.
  • Attendance at the monthly meetings of the IU Health Ethics Committee on the 3rd Friday of the month from 7:00-8:30am.
  • Attendance at the monthly Ethics Lecture Series on the 1st Wednesday of the month during the academic school year from 12:00-1:00pm.
  • Attending the Ethics Fellowship sessions on Wednesdays which typically run from 8:30am-3:30pm.
  • A brief annotated bibliography summarizing readings on an ethics topic of interest, to be identified by each resident in collaboration with Fairbanks Center Staff.

Additional activities are available for residents interested in research ethics, such as attending Institutional Review Board (IRB) meetings, IUPUI Executive Committee of IRB meetings, and IUSM Conflict of Interest Committee meetings.

For more information about this elective, please contact