Clinical Ethics for Urologists (2020)

Clinical Ethics for Urologists is an online curriculum that introduces and challenges you to appreciate more fully and therefore, respond more effectively to the ethical dimensions of medical practice in urology. Properly understood and regardless of specific specialty, the practice of medicine as a profession inevitably generates ethical questions for physicians, patients, their families, and society at large. Indeed, the fundamental question encountered by physicians in caring for their patients is not what can be done to help and heal them but rather what should be done. To answer this question requires considerations of a scientific, clinical, and ethical nature.

The original Ethics curriculum, released in 2008, was developed in association with the Society of University Urologists and Society of Urology Chairs and Program Directors. It consisted of 17 modules, providing a means for driving achievement of the specific objectives for the core competencies in professionalism. The Ethics curriculum is structured to develop a knowledge base of the "ethical principles" and of other matters important to the ethical practice of urology and other specialties of contemporary medicine. For example, instructional modules include the legal aspects of such topics as informed consent and the various approaches to thinking through ethical dilemmas at (as well as beyond) the bedside. In addition to knowledge of clinical ethics, however, the curriculum is designed to foster in you an appreciation of the moral history of the profession and of the current state of debate about a range of ethical issues--from assisted suicide and euthanasia to medical futility. In 2011, module 18 – expert witness, developed by the Judicial and Ethics Committee, was added to educate urologists in providing quality expert witness testimony regarding standard of care.

The current curriculum consists of 18 modules, each of which:

  • Specifies the relevant learning objectives for the module
  • Frames the ethical challenges relevant to the topic of the module with brief clinical scenarios
  • Describes the relevant historical, legal and ethical background
  • Identifies points of agreement and controversy in addressing the ethical challenges relevant to the topic of the module
  • Presents a case, suitable for self-directed or small group-based activities with questions for discussion, analysis and reflection
  • Lists additional resources for continued learning
  • Ends with a post-test

Target Audience

  • Residents
  • Practicing Urologists
  • Advanced Practice Providers

Learning Objectives

After completing this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Assess their knowledge of clinical ethics in the practice of urology.
  2. Demonstrate an increased knowledge base in the ethical practice of urology.
  3. Apply increased knowledge to improve quality of patient care.
  4. Integrate professionalism in the practice of urology.
Course summary
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


F. Daniel Davis, PhD: Nothing to Disclose


Deborah J. Lightner, MD: Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Adam P. Klausner, MD: Allergan, Inc.: Investigator


Robert C. Flanigan, MD: Disclosures: National Cancer Institute: Investigator; NIDDK (NIH): Consultant or Advisor; WJ Weiser: Employee (Family)
John H. Lynch , MD:Disclosure: Theralogix: Investment Interest

Planner Disclosures

PDF icon Judicial & Ethics Committee Disclosures
PDF iconEducation Council Disclosures


Learners will participate in this online educational activity by taking the pretest, viewing the online modules and completing the posttest and evaluation. To claim CME credit for this enduring material, learners must complete the post-test, passing with 80% accuracy and submit the program evaluation.

Estimated time to complete this activity: 3.00 hours

Original Release Date: January, 2008
Expiration Date: March, 2023

Peer Review:
This activity was peer reviewed in January, 2011
This activity was peer reviewed in January, 2014
This activity was peer reviewed in March, 2020


The American Urological Association (AUA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The American Urological Association designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The AUA is not accredited to offer credit to participants who are not MDs or DOs. However, the AUA will issue documentation of participation that states that the activity was certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.


It is the policy of the AUA to ensure that the content contained in this CME activity is valid, fair, balanced, scientifically rigorous, and free of commercial bias.


All persons in a position to control the content of an educational activity (i.e., activity planners, presenters, authors) are required to disclose to the provider any relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The AUA must determine if the individual’s relationships may influence the educational content and resolve any conflicts of interest prior to the commencement of the educational activity. The intent of this disclosure is not to prevent individuals with relevant financial relationships from participating, but rather to provide learners information with which they can make their own judgments.


All disclosures will be reviewed by the program/course directors or editors for identification of conflicts of interest. Peer reviewers, working with the program directors and/or editors, will document the mechanism(s) for management and resolution of the conflict of interest and final approval of the activity will be documented prior to implementation. Any of the mechanisms below can/will be used to resolve conflict of interest:

  • Peer review for valid, evidence-based content of all materials associated with an educational activity by the course/program director, editor, and/or Education Content Review Committee or its subgroup.
  • Limit content to evidence with no recommendations
  • Introduction of a debate format with an unbiased moderator (point-counterpoint)
  • Inclusion of moderated panel discussion
  • Publication of a parallel or rebuttal article for an article that is felt to be biased
  • Limit equipment representatives to providing logistics and operation support only in procedural demonstrations
  • Divestiture of the relationship by faculty


The audience is advised that this continuing medical education activity may contain reference(s) to off-label or unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Please consult the prescribing information for full disclosure of approved uses.

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