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PHI120 - Medical Ethics - Charles

Medical Ethics - Exploring Topics


Medical Ethics

Medical ethics is that branch of applied ethics that is concerned with the ethical problems of healthcare professionals and healthcare systems. It is a subset of bioethics, and can itself be further divided in medical ethics (narrowly defined), nursing ethics, public health ethics, research ethics, management ethics, etc. (Holm, S., & HOLM, S. (2009). Medical ethics. In J. Olsen, S. A. Pedersen, & V. F. Hendricks, Blackwell companions to philosophy: a companion to the philosophy of technology. Wiley. Credo Reference:

Where to Begin

Start with a topic that interests you! This will make researching much easier. Explore your topic in our Credo Reference database. Look up definitions and get factual information from reference sources before exploring ethical arguments, opinions, or beliefs.

Use the Opposing Viewpoints database to get a better understanding of your topic and to help break it down into manageable parts.

Use the "Browse Issues" option to explore topic pages about issues related to medical ethics.

The Opposing Viewpoints In Context Database

Opposing Viewpoints

Is global warming real? Should the minimum wage be raised? Is junk food really hurting us? 

Find credible sources on these and hundreds of other social and political issues with Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints. Unlike websites, this database simplifies your search by bringing together articles, videos, and stats you can trust and cite. 

Having a clear, compelling point of view on today’s most debated political and social issues requires finding the most credible facts and insights. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints simplifies your search by bringing together thousands of resources to provide authoritative articles, research reports, videos, and statistics. This database steers you away from unreliable content that online browsers sometimes serve up and helps you draw your own conclusions about global warming, the minimum wage, and hundreds of other debated topics.

Browsing Issues

Our Opposing Viewpoints database allows students to browse larger issues by choosing an issue from a list.

Links to issues in opposing viewpoints

The topic pages give an overview of the topic and access to a variety of different types of sources.

example of a topic page in opposing viewpoints

menu of different source types in opposing viewpoints

The "Viewpoints" articles are great for narrowing down your topic.

Getting Results

Use the "On this Page" menu to access articles, books, videos, and other sources about the topic.

menu of different source types in opposing viewpoints

You can also do a keyword search at the top of the page but keep in mind that not all of the results from a keyword search will be about your topic.

opposing viewpoints search box

Saving Documents

There are several ways you can save a document in the Opposing Viewpoints database. There are 2 menus that you can use (shown below) located near the top of the screen.

options for saving in opposing viewpoints

options for saving in opposing viewpoints

The Cite optionThe Cite option allows you to export the citation information and link to RefWorks.

The send to optionThe Send To option allows you to send the article in an email or save it to your Google or One Drive.

the download optionThe Download option allows you to download the article to your computer or external drive.

the print optionThe Print option will format the article for better printing.

Citing Sources

The cite optionTo cite a source from Opposing Viewpoints, click on the "Cite" button.

citation menu in opposing viewpoints

From the citation box, you can select the citation style and copy the citation or export it to Refworks.

If you email a source from Opposing Viewpoints, the MLA citation information will be at the bottom of your email.

Academic Journals and Peer-Review

Scholarly, Academic, or Peer-Reviewed journals are important sources of quality information within a given field. Each field of study or profession has its own set of academic journals. It is in these journals that scholars and experts share research findings with each other.

The articles are written by scholars, experts, researchers, or academics and the author(s) is(are) always stated. The authors are not employed by the journal, they usually work at a college or university, research lab, or in the field. 

Peer-reviewed articles are judged by a panel of experts before they are published. These are quality sources that usually contain bibliographic references and original research.

anatomy of a scholarly article

Check out these great resources on identifying peer-reviewed sources from North Carolina State University!

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (video)

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (interactive tutorial)

Peer-reviewed journals:

  • Contain articles and research by scholars and experts in a specific discipline or field
  • Articles are usually based on original research
  • Contain author’s credentials
  • Cite sources
  • Very little, or no, advertising
  • Longer and more descriptive articles
  • Uses terminology of the discipline
  • Graphics are usually charts or tables
  • Peer-reviewed
  • Articles are written to share knowledge


Here's an example of a peer-reviewed journal article.

peer reviewed journal article




  • the Journal title, date, volume, and page numbers at the top
  • The descriptive title
  • The authors and their affiliations
  • The abstract


Most include a list of references.

peer-reviewed reference list

The citations usually look something like this

mla citation example

Finding Your Sources

You will need to find academic, peer-reviewed articles for this assignment. By now, you should have a good idea about the topic you want to cover, Think about your topic and the terms and words used to describe it in the sources you found in our Credo Reference and Opposing Viewpoints databases. Use those words to search for academic journal articles.

When searching library databases for articles, you can usually limit your results to peer-reviewed journals by using the Advanced Search and selecting "peer-reviewed", "academic", or "scholarly". Each database is slightly different, look for limiters using these words to narrow your results and save you time. See some examples of what to look for below.


EBSCO advanced search screen


gale advanced search


Try our new Snap Search to look for resources on your topic. Here, you will find books, academic journals, videos, newspapers, magazines, and more from most of our databases. In some cases, you might need to search individual databases but most often this will give you what you need.

Snap search

Use the SNAP! Search limiters to narrow down your results by selecting source types, subjects, date ranges and more. These limiters will be located on the left side of your results.

You can also use the Advanced Search to refine your search results. 

eds advance search

The TX All Text option will give you more results by searching the full-text of the document for your search terms. Use caution with the other options in this list, they may not do what you think they should. For most searches, it's best not to select an option. Use the TX option when you don't get any or many results.