Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-13-2022


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Joris Gielen

Committee Member

Peter Ikechukwu Osuji


"healthcare ethics", "systems thinking", "systems approach", "clinical ethics", "organizational ethics", "professional ethics"


This dissertation aims to apply a systems approach to clinical, organizational, and professional ethics in healthcare. A systems approach can offer a valuable understanding of bioethical issues and should be more extensively utilized to advance the bioethical analysis. This research is proposed to inspire systemic thinking as an approach to tackle the issues in clinical, organizational, and professional ethics, given that healthcare ethics can be considered as a kind of systems thinking because it takes into consideration the connections among several systems and comprehends their consequences on one another. Systems thinking has appeared as a means of hypothesizing and tackling complex public health problems, thus stimulating more ordinary comprehending of problems and corresponding solutions. Systems thinking tries to tackle the complexity of problems through qualitative and quantitative modeling. To date, nevertheless, there has been little engagement between systems scientists and those working in bioethics. The purpose of this dissertation is to try to combine the prominent characteristics of the systems approach with bioethics to help solve bioethical challenges. Thinking and working across disciplines is not a novel notion in bioethics, nor is the idea that it is significant to involve and urge the contribution and involvement of different stakeholders. Generally, bioethics recognize that tackling healthcare problems imply taking into consideration the interconnected character of people and their associations with their environments, and this suggests that bioethics is open to incorporating systems thinking as part of the bioethical examination. This dissertation tries to construct a systems approach to be utilized in different areas of clinical, organizational, and professional ethics.