Comparative Health Care: The United States & Japan
This unit explores key, controversial issues by comparing US and Japanese health care: bioethics through case studies of brain death and organ transplantation; aging through case study of the effect of demographic change on geriatric social service needs; and systemic organization of health care service delivery through a case study of methods of providing coverage, paying hospitals and doctors, as well as the roles of private industry and government.
Curriculum Link: http://spice.stanford.edu/publications/20533/ Author: Rachel Brunette and Kenji Kushida, Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), 2004
Expected Student Outcomes/Objectives
Each of the three lessons in this curriculum unit has specific learning objectives listed. The following are larger goals for the curriculum unit as a whole. In this curriculum unit, students will:
• explore bioethical issues in a cross-cultural context;
• learn about issues surrounding aging societies;
• be introduced to health care systems; and
• learn about insurance.
Description of Activities
Lesson One, Exploring Bioethical Issues in a Cross-Cultural Context: Brain Death and Organ Transplantation in the United States and Japan, introduces students to ethical considerations surrounding the issues of brain death and organ transplantation in the United States and Japan. Using case studies from both countries, students will explore how medical, social, cultural, and legal definitions of death vary between and within these nations. This lesson will encourage students to understand both the biological processes causing brain death as well as the ethical debates surrounding it. Students planning careers in medical and legal fields may be especially interested in the topics addressed by this lesson.
Lesson Two, Understanding Population Change: A Case Study of the Aging Society in the United States and Japan, introduces students to issues surrounding the aging of society in the United States and Japan. Specifically, students will learn why and how each society is undergoing demographic change, and the ways in which each country is attempting to address the needs of its older citizens. The class will also be introduced to the concept of futures studies through this lesson. Students interested in pursuing careers in health care, public policy, social work, and statistics may be especially interested in the topics addressed by this lesson.
Lesson Three, Health Care Systems: The United States and Japan, introduces students to key issues surrounding health care systems in both countries. While health insurance is an important part of a health care system, it is only one of many dimensions. A health care system goes beyond insurance, covering aspects such as how hospitals and doctors are organized and paid, and the roles played by private industry and government. Perhaps most importantly, health care systems create incentives for all parties involved. As students will learn, incentives are often central to understanding the behavior of doctors, patients, and governments. Students interested in pursuing careers in health care, public policy, social work, and statistics may be especially interested in the topics addressed by this lesson.
Instructional Materials Provided
Complete curriculum instructions, handouts, resources and links.
Curriculum type: Unit
Academic subject areas: Laboratory Science; Interdisciplinary; History/Social Sciences; Career-Technical Education
States' Career Clusters: Health Science; Government & Public Administration; Human Services
California Industry sector(s): Public Services; Health Science and Medical Technology
Duration: two weeks
Grade Targets: 9, 10, 11
Level of Expertise for CTE: Concentration/Skill building
Standards Addressed: Detailed documentation of alignment with Common Core, NGSS, C3 or CTE Standards provided
Curriculum Link: http://spice.stanford.edu/publications/20533/
These three lessons can be taught independently and do not need to be in a particular sequence. That makes this an excellent foundation for thematic integration.