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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 59 / 115





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Bioethics Education589

bit changed. But it’s a different sample. The other one, one team member, just asked students in the campus what they thought. It’s only a very quick response. But in this class, I think they thought more before answering. There is some problem in our culture to avoid parents being harmed if they know the truth.  Here’s Beryl, my colleague in this trial.

Lee: I would like to say something about the gap. If you notice that death in my society is still a taboo. Especially young people shouldn’t bring up the question first. However, I think the gap tells us something important; that younger people are stronger than what we expect. So we should not be afraid to tell them the truth. This is actually an educational phenomenon that we learned from this trial.

What Medical Students Expect from Medical Ethics Classes

- Kenji Hattori, M.D., D.M.Sc., M.A. .

Gunma University, Graduate School of Medicine, Department  of  Medical Philosophy &  Ethics 3-39-22 Showa,Maebashi,Gunma, 371-8511 JAPAN

Email: hattorik@med.gunma-u.ac.jp

There are many surveys or investigations concerning the methodology of medical ethics classes. Most of them focus on practical teaching strategies or the attitudes of teachers toward their classes. Little attention has been paid on what medical students expect from medical ethics classes. However, if we wish to make classes more fruitful, we need to know the orientations and intentions of medical students. Thus we used an 8-item questionnaire to survey the needs and expectations of medical students with regard to their medical ethics class. One hundred and nineteen first-year students voluntarily responded to this survey. The opinions of many students were as follows. Medical students thought that medical ethics classes should be offered as a two to four hour per semester class. They thought that the course should not follow the format of the National Examination for Physicians. Sessions consisting of both lectures and discussions are desirable, and the course should start in the first year of medical school. Clinical doctors, philosophers interested in medicine, or medical professions who have studied philosophy and ethics would be most appropriate as teachers in charge. The anticipated roles of teachers are to introduce actual ethical problems in clinical settings, to provide coordinate axes for the opinions and values of students, and to instigate arguments. In conclusion, the items that provide the key to a plethora of medical ethics education concerns are 1) cooperation between clinical doctors and philosophers and ethicists, 2) an introspective discussion-oriented class format, and 3) an acceptance of divergent perspectives.


Su:  What kinds of textbook do you have and use in your medical ethics class?

Hattori: We don’t use any textbooks. We use case studies.

Wawrzyniak:  What kind of people should be fit to teach biomedical ethics?

Hattori: I think those who have the spirit of conversation.

Macer: Very good answer.

. p. 589 in Macer, DRJ., ed., "Challenges for Bioethics from Asia" (Eubios Ethics Institute, 2004).

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