Using Medical Drama to Teach Biomedical Ethics to Medical Students
Medical teacher 2010; 32(5): e205-10
Nowadays, clinicians are faced with multifaceted ethical concerns, and it is often argued that students of medicine should be well trained in clinical ethics and have a minimum level of ethical sensitivity and critical analysis. Consequently, most medical colleges have introduced programs in biomedical ethics. It is often pointed out that there is a gap separating ethical theories from concrete moral dilemmas. This problem became less pervasive as case-studies started being used. Nevertheless, vignettes are mostly presented as an addendum to a unit and often engage the students only "temporarily." It is my contention that this can be remedied if students were given a venue that will allow them to appreciate as many particulars of the situation as possible, to engage in the case not merely as inactive spectators, rather to get entangled in the case just enough to be involved yet remain sufficiently detached to be able to exercise critical analysis. This is possible through medical drama which, I will argue, is a narrative genre that enhances emotional engagement, cognitive development, and moral imagination allowing for a more ethically sensitive student in training. To do that, reference will be made to the medical drama "House MD."
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