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Brian Cox
  • Brian Cox
  • Cardiff By The Sea, CA
  • United States


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Should medical ethics be taught in medical school?

Over the course of the summer, I am embarking on a fairly comprehensive examination of medical ethics curriculum in the medical schools of the UK, Ireland, Canada, and America. I will be conducting focus groups and distributing surveys to understand how medical students view their competency in dealing with ethical issues, especially those encountered at the end-of-life.

I hope to use this information to make specific curriculum amendments that will allow future doctors to confidently manage terminally ill patients.

However, I need your help.

In order to make my study even more robust, I wish to garner as many perspectives as possible. Please contribute your opinions, your experiences, your attitudes and beliefs. Tell me how doctors deal with end-of-life issues: how they have managed your family and friends.

*The first comment gives a little background on the current state of medical ethics in the UK. It is an excerpt from my proposal earlier this year.


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  • Jun 26 2012: As a nurse who has dealt for many years with dying patients, I have one important idea to mention. Physicians have a moral responsibility to tell a patient when they are nearing the end of their life.
    I have been in the unfortunate position of being the bearer of this news. Frequently I feel that I often do not have all the details, while the person who did have the information, chose not to share them with the patient. Come on, doctors! Don't you think your patients deserve to hear the most important information in their lives from you? Just because it's something you can't fix, doesn't make it essential for you to deal with.
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      Jun 26 2012: It is a shame that you have been placed in such a position. These types of situations should not occur, but frequently do. Doctors need to feel comfortable and competent delivering bad news regardless of the circumstance so that individuals like yourself are not forced into an unfamiliar situation.

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