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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 2 / 115

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532Challenges for Bioethics from Asia

Teaching Materials" was essential for this project, and for convening this meeting of project participants at ABC5/TRT9, and is generously acknowledged. Please also note that Japanese simultaneous interpretation was available on the 15 February, 2004 conference day, and thanks are due to Richard Clark, Mihaela Serbulea, Tim Boyle and Fumi Maekawa for help with translation between Japanese and English on that day.  I especially the help of Dr. Richard Clark in devoted translation of Japanese papers into English.

The project could not have been possible without cooperation of many teachers, researchers and students, and these are all acknowledged and appreciated. Papers are in the process of preparation for academic journals. For updated information please see the homepages. Everyone is welcome to join the listserves and project.

References

Macer, DRJ., ed., "Bioethics for Informed Citizens Across Cultures" (Eubios Ethics Institute, 2004). <http://www.biol.tsukuba.ac.jp/~macer/betbk.htm>.

Macer, DRJ. "BioethicsEducation for Informed Citizens Across Cultures", School Science Review 86 (December 2004).

Discussion

Xiao Wei: I think your project is important and useful for me. You are focusing on high schools. This might be a simple question but how about the university level?

Macer: No, we are not just focusing on high schools. We have used the material in classes at the University of Tsukuba and in Taiwan, the trials are also at the university level. I think it is suitable at all levels. We’ll try to make the appropriate background material to make it appropriate for each level.

Aksoy: First of all how can we join this project? Second, I wonder how appropriate this is for high school students. I teach first year students in a medical school. And I also have taught up to 4th year. In high school isn’t it too early to teach respect for life, diversity? How can we teach this in the high school?

Macer: Some junior high school teachers have used this as well. I don’t think it is too early, some issues differ. I have observed classes in New Zealand, Japan, China and India.  It is interesting seeing young students facing this issue. We have to start young. It is important to try to start young if we are to make a society of persons with informed choice. Also most people in society attend high school, while only 30% go to university. We want to form people at the high school level.  

Pollard: In my opinion the earlier the better. For example, lifestyle and fertility should be taught before puberty. Responsible reproduction should be learned before and not after the act. Bioethics should be taught at any level but it should be imparted at a level that a child can understand.

Sivakami: Three questions. First how is bioethics education in university different from that in the high school? Science and non science, what is the difference? And are you going to teach recent inventions in biodmedicine or medical research and practice and other issues?

Macer: I think some high school students have more maturity than university students, so it’s case by case. It depends on the person. What is important is the teaching style.Interactive trial is one way. Small group education or large group education is appropriate for different cases. So it think it can be applied to medical school, philosophy, biology and others.

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