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Abstract

BACKGROUND The following describes results of an innovative, online, interprofessional (IP) ethics assignment designed to evaluate students’ application of ethical and moral theory and professional codes of ethics. After viewing the video, My Sister’s Keeper (Johnson & Goldman [Producers], Cassavetes [Director], 2009), students explored the ethics of genetic selection, personal/professional values and the utility of their respective professional codes of ethics directed toward evolving genetic innovations.

METHODS Using an online course platform, Nursing (RN-to-BSN) and Master of Social Work students from one Midwestern university, organized into IP groups, responded to required prompts. Researchers employed narrative content analysis in the identification of themes.

RESULTS Four ethical themes emerged (genetic engineering; informed consent if minors vs. parental rights; quality vs. quantity of life; and self-determination). Students perceived their disciplinary codes of ethics provided limited guidance when dealing with complex ethical decision making and noted the value of consultation with colleagues when grappling with complex ethical issues such as outlined in My Sister’s Keeper.

CONCLUSION Student reflections supported similarities and differences in their identification of themes based upon disciplinary training. Primacy of client interests guided student responses, reflected in each discipline’s code of ethics. disciplinary training. Primacy of client interests guided student responses, reflected in each discipline’s code of ethics.

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