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568Challenges for Bioethics from Asia

The Application of Bioethics in a Technical High School as a Behavioral Educational Model to Strengthen Moral Values and Modify Risky Behavior among Teenage Students

- Martha Marcela Rodriguez Alanis, M.D., M.S. .

DGETI, Medical Department; Bioethics College of Northeast México, Secretaría de Educación Pública,  Clinica Hidalgo, Hidalgo 2428 Pte.Obispado C.P.64600.Monterrey Nuevo León, MEXICO

E mail:marcela_rdza@hotmail.com.mx


Bioethics can be applied in Technical High-Schools by including a curricular course of five hours a week in the first, third and fifth semester of Natural Sciences and Humanities. The course can be integrated in five units of didactical instrumentation that would include the following topics: I. Introduction to bioethics, II. Awareness of social surroundings, III. Feeling respect towards human dignity, IV. Preservation and conservation of life, V. Treatment and diagnosis of bioethical issues.

How can Bioethics be applied in High Schools as a behavioral educational model to strengthen moral values and modify risky behaviors among teenager students? According to the Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Bioethics “…is the systematic study of human conduct in the field of life sciences and health care from the point of view of moral principles” (New York 1978, vol. 1p XIX).  Bioethics is literally translated as Ethics of life related to free and responsible human beings (Garza 2000).

At this level of education we find that Mexican teenager students show several negative conducts which hinder their academic formation and improvement.  The main characteristic of this negative behavior is their apathy and rebellious conduct towards their student’s obligations, teachers, and other authority figures (Nava 1998, Ortega 1999, Girard 2001).

This study supports the teaching of ethics as a subject in Mexican High Schools through the knowledge of Bioethics.  This application would allow the integration of moral values such as social, family, academic, and preservation and conservation of life to the human nature of the student.

Bioethics fulfills the characteristics of an education model from an educational, normative, developmental, and applicable point of view (Garcia 1995, Gimenos 1995, Quintana 1993). The application and knowledge of this educational model would allow the teacher to identify risk factors in their students and their social surroundings and therefore modify negative behavior.   Among the most frequent risk behaviors are drug addiction, early sexual activity, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, delinquency, unwanted pregnancy, sexual abuse, violence, and school drop outs (Medina 2001).

The integration of this course is based in the reality of Mexican’s Technological High School methodological field.  The curricular subject would include the following topics: 1. Introduction to Bioethics, 2. Awareness of social surroundings, 3.  Feeling respect towards human dignity, 4.  Conservation and Preservation of Life, 5.  Treatment and Diagnosis of Bioethical Dilemmas.  

Material and Methods

Both, the experimental and the control group were students from the public school CBtis No. 99 (Centro de Bachillerato Tecnológico Industrial) in Monterrey city.  There were a total of 82 students which represent 29.3% of the universe (!st semester students only).  All students were between the ages of 15 and 17, 47 females and 35 males.    There were 42 students in the control group and 40 in the experimental group.  The experimental group received bioethics concepts 5 hours a week on the following topics:  1. Introduction to Bioethics,  2. Awareness of  social

. pp. 568-577 in Macer, DRJ., ed., "Challenges for Bioethics from Asia" (Eubios Ethics Institute, 2004).

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