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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 28 2012: I'm pursuing my masters in education and we learned medical ethics as part of one of our courses. The purpose of learning this in education was because we deal with vulnerable children, as is the case with doctors too - dealing with vulnerable patients. It's important for people in these professions (that deal with a vulnerable people) to know how to empathize and understand that their role in their these peoples lives isn't just something in passing.

    From my experience of learning medical ethics as an education student I can say that it is highly valuable and concur that ethics is something that is engrained from childhood and home life. If you don't have an ethically sound upbringing then learning about medical ethics can be quite surprising and new, and difficult to grasp. Ethics can also vary culture to culture.
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      Jul 5 2012: Yes, definitely. I'm looking into improving the curriculum through an examination of cultural differences and how to respond empathetically to a diversity of groups.

      The world needs great teachers, wish you the best in your pursuit!

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