Active student participation is the basis of teaching medicine, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This approach is especially important in teaching the course on medical ethics, in which only a minor part of the teaching consists of explanations of facts and data, and the major part rests on open discussion. In ethics, there are frequently no right or wrong answers. The emphasis is on judgment and justification, which must include every individual’s values as well.
Seminar papers were prepared in the years 2009–2018 for the course Medical Ethics and Law at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor. A team of five to eight students presented the seminars to their colleagues and the teacher, followed by an open discussion. The papers are listed in the order they were presented to students.
Most seminars deal with ethical problems that are of importance for a student of any nationality. Seminars on topics of local interest are also included. While they may not be directly applicable to the teaching of medical ethics in other countries, the reader will get an idea about the broad field of topics that students of medicine should be able to discuss.
Cases were often prepared on the basis of real events, known to the author during his professional work or as a member of various ethical committees. The identity of the persons involved has been masked, except for cases that were widely discussed in the media.