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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 52 / 115





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582Challenges for Bioethics from Asia

teaching on respect for human life. Today, I think this has been slowly eroding.  And the students who enter university seem to have less reverence for other forms of life. So I am worried about this trend.

Shiraishi: I understand very well your concern.  It is difficult for me to explain, but if you look just at the curriculum, you may have such an impression.  It is not like that.  It does reflect the ordinary, well let’s say, in context of what you have mentioned.  Probably if you observe the actual class, you may have a different impression to that of looking at these titles.  I am also worried about how much chance there are to teach about respecting life in high school classes.  But I believe that the traditional “moral education” cannot meet such needs.  I want the students to think for themselves, how they are going to live, and how they are going to respect lives, through learning what their choices are.  

Bioethics Education in the University of Madras & MGR Medical University

- Aruna Sivakami, Ph.D. .

Department of  Politics and Public Administration, University of Madras, Chennai – 600 005 INDIA

Email: runashiva_24@rediffmail.com

Due to efforts undertaken by Dr. Darryl Macer, Professor of Biology, Tsukuba University, Japan who had been visiting India – particularly Chennai to attend Bioethics Conferences organised by All India Association of Bioethics from 1997, 1998. In 1999, Loyola College – LIFE organised a conference where he also happened to participate. The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University and the Department of Legal Studies, and Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Madras invited him for lectures to students of Masters in Law, Masters in Political Philosophy and Public Management. Attempts were taken by Dr. (Mrs) Aruna Sivakami to introduce Bio-ethics as a core paper in M.A curriculum. The Department also invited Dr. Irina Pollard, Associate Professor, Biology, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia to give lectures to students in Masters in Public Management and Masters in Zoology, University of Madras, on Women, Health and Reproduction for two weeks. The Department also requested Dr. Tsushoshi Awaya of Okayama University, Japan and Dr. Brigitte E.S Jansen , Director European Academy of Environment and Economy, Germany to give Lectures to Law University Students and students of Legal Studies and students of Politics and Public Administration on the ELSI of Bio medical technology.

These interactions culminated in signing a MOU in Octoter, 2001 for a period of two years between University of Madras and the Dr.M.G.R. Medical University to introduce Bioethics  or Medical ethics as part of the curriculum of a degree leading to MBBS or P.G. diploma after MBBS for medical students and a modified Bioethics course with simplified knowledge of Medical ethics for science and arts students of University of Madras leading to Masters Degree was framed. Now the same agreement is to be renewed and operated with the help of Dr. Darryl Macer, Dr. Irina Pollard & Dr. Brigitte Jansen. What the course is about and what the situation is in India including the pharmaceutical Industry, and regulatory mechanisms operating and the detail of the syllabus will be presented in the Conference.  


Su:  Thanks, Aruna.  Do you have a bioethics course in your university? And is it compulsory or elective? And what is the general state of medical ethics in other universities in India.

Sivakami: I told you.  There is no separate paper. Now we are to compel the medical council of India to make that distinction. If it is made compulsory, it will be from 6 months to one year.  

. p. 582 in Macer, DRJ., ed., "Challenges for Bioethics from Asia" (Eubios Ethics Institute, 2004).

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