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Education in medical ethics

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Conclusions and Summary

While personal morality cannot be taught, ethical principles and their application to medical practice can be studied and effectively learned.

Since medical ethics is an essential component of practice of medicine, the study of ethics must be lifelong just like the study of medicine.

In addition to familiarity with ethical philosophical principles and an understanding of moral values arising from these principles, the study of medical ethics must also consider issues and dilemmas arising from societal changes and development.

Acquisition of skills of ethical reasoning should be a part of any teaching program.

Teaching methods should be flexible to reflect the curriculum of a particular medical school. Medical ethics should be an integral part of continued medical education.

While professional philosophers-ethicists should be involved in teaching, most of the practical teaching should be borne by clinicians with interest and knowledge of medical ethics. These same clinicians can act as role models, resolving simultaneously both the clinical the and ethical components of a patient’s problem.

Clinicians engaged in teaching of ethics should be given an opportunity to increase the scope and depth of their knowledge of ethics as an academic discipline, “Teaching the teachers” should be an integral part of any medical faculty teaching program.

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Correspondence to Joseph J. Sidorov.

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Sidorov, J.J. Education in medical ethics. Gastroenterol Jpn 28, 3–7 (1993).

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  • Ethical Issue
  • Medical Ethic
  • Moral Obligation
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Continue Medical Education