Adapting a community of practice model to design an innovative ethics curriculum in healthcare
Vernillo, Anthony T.
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The focus of healthcare ethics within the framework of ethical principles and philosophical foundations has always, in recent times, been the community, namely, the healthcare provider, the patient or, in research, the study participant. An initiative is thus described whereby a community of practice (CoP) model was developed around health ethics in health research, education and clinical care. The ethics curriculum was redesigned to include several components that are integrated and all embracing, namely, health research ethics, healthcare ethics, health personnel education in ethics and global and public health ethics. A CoP is a group who share a common interest and a desire to learn from and contribute to the community with their variety of experiences. The CoP is dynamic and organic, generating knowledge that can be translated into effective healthcare delivery and ethical research. It requires the collaboration and social presence of active participants such as community members, healthcare professionals and educators, ethicists and policy makers to benefit the community by developing approaches that adapt to and resonate with the community and its health - care needs. Philosophical principles constitute the foundation or underpinning of this innovative curriculum. Recommendations are presented that will continue to guide the consolidation and sustainability of the CoP.