Dental Ethics

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Course Description:
Designed to improve ethical reasoning skills and to convey ethical and legal standards of the profession through small group discussions and reading assignments. Educational Objectives:
The student will gain knowledge in the principles of dental ethics. The objectives of the course are for the student to be able to: (1) describe the key features of a profession, (2) identify resources for making complex ethical judgments, (3) know professional obligations identified in the text, (4) understand and apply four normative ethical principles that play a role with dentistry, (5) discuss professional obligations according to Ozar’s Three Models of Professionalism, (6) answer multiple choice questions based on the ADA Code of Ethics 1992 and the Washington Dental Practice Act of 1993, (7) identify common ethical and legal problems in dentistry in Washington state, (8) understand general and role-specific obligations, (9) describe a dentist’s duties toward patients, (10) understand paternalism and its role in dentistry, (11) understand the effects of race, gender and class on the dental profession and society in general, (12) discuss the principle of distributive justice and how it impacts dentistry and individual dentists.

The dental profession holds a special position of trust within society. As a consequence, society affords the profession certain privileges that are not available to members of the public-at-large. In return, the profession makes a commitment to society that its members will adhere to high ethical standards of conduct. These standards are embodied in the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct (ADA Code). The ADA Code is, in effect, a written expression of the obligations arising from the implied contract between the dental profession and society. Members of the ADA voluntarily agree to abide by the ADA Code as a condition of membership in the Association. They recognize that continued public trust in the...
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