In this section
Related Features
rc root page> Resources> Bioethics
Bioethics Education Project

Online bioethics curriculum

Innovative web-based learning in bioethics

As technology advances and the complexity of medical practice and patient interactions evolve, there is a critical need for educational resources to address a growing number of bioethical questions. Since 1997, the Royal College has been developing practical training materials and resources for physicians, to support their learning and to help them navigate new areas of bioethics in specialist practice.

“The Royal College’s bioethics curriculum is the standard for postgraduate medical education in bioethics today. It is a living entity that allows meaningful exchange on topics of critical importance, such as end of life and reproduction, while providing comprehensive educational resources, equipping physicians to face the latest ethical issues associated with practice,”
Ross Upshur, MD, FRCPC, chair, Royal College Ethics Committee.

Sample topics

  • Appropriate use of life-sustaining treatment
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decisional capacity
  • Demands for inappropriate treatment
  • Disclosure of adverse events
  • End of life care Novel genetic technologies
  • Organ donation
  • Reproductive health
  • Research ethics
  • Respect for difference

Existing bioethics resources

The bioethics curriculum aims to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of ethical principles and the value of ethical analysis in guiding behavior and decision making in medical practice.

The Royal College’s bioethics curriculum currently includes

  • 47 cases (five new cases expected in fall 2015),
  • five primers, and
  • 10 interactive online modules.

This curriculum highlights common issues and dilemmas that arise in medical practice; draws attention to similarities and differences in cross-cultural perspectives on ethical concerns; supports instruction, debate and dialogue regarding health ethics; and delineates approaches to address ethical challenges encountered in practice.

Call for cases

Recognizing the need to continually expand the number of cases included in the bioethics curriculum, new case submissions are being accepted. Proposals may be submitted year-round. Fellows are encouraged to develop cases on emerging ethical issues and challenges not currently addressed within the existing curriculum.

Learn more about the submission criteria, process and a list of suggested topics or write to us at

To access the interactive modules, REGISTER NOW »

Cases Primers Call for Proposals