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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 27 2012: I believe there is a solution. I think that people are all on different planes of thought, though we may be perceiving the same thing (glass half empty or half full.). I compare this to different denominators but the same idea. So, let's say I'm 1/2 and you are 2/4 . We have a different way to explain the same thing. The easily solution is to find a common denominator and work from there, thus allowing solutions to be in both yours and my terms.
    The same principle i illustrated here is apparent in Hegels philosophy: the synthesis is finding the common denominator of the thesis (your viewpoint) and the antithesis (my viewpoint).

    Yes, I think debates would work, as it is basically allowing a synthesis between the students, but then what happens when two people did not attend the same class or school? I think this is when ethics of a time period (bigger scale, no longer just in terms of an individual) comes into play. If we can get on common terms as a generation, we may teach ethics in that generation. Though, this would be very difficult...
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      Jun 27 2012: Thank you for your insight into Hegel's philosophy and the idea of a common denominator for consensus' sake.

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