Bioethics in the Medical Curriculum in Africa
Ogundiran, T O
Omotade, O O
African journal of medicine and medical sciences 2009 Mar; 38(1): 87-92
Many new innovations and advances are introduced into life and the sciences at a pace faster than any single individual can keep up with but human beings adjust to these changes at a much slower pace. Development is at snail speed in many developing countries and supersonic in the developed world and yet these have to interrelate. The introduction of medical technology and advances into developing countries is sometimes done haphazardly and often without prior appropriate education and decision making process. This has the potential to create dilemmas among stakeholders and engender conflicts with culture, religion and societal norms. A good grounding in the study of bioethical principles and theories is relevant to addressing current and evolving issues with changing biotechnology and shifting landmarks in today's highly technical clinical medicine. The knowledge and utilization of these principles should limit the occurrence of many scandals in the form and magnitude already recorded in the history of biomedical research and practice. While the debate as to whether ethics can be taught will continue, bioethics education provides the requisite knowledge and skill that are applicable at the bedside and in biomedical research. Some evidence has shown that formal teaching of ethics impacts positively on physicians and medical students' attitudes in the care of patients. In this paper we propose that bioethics as a distinct course should be incorporated into medical curriculum in Africa. The integration of bioethics as a required subject in the medical curriculum would have a positive impact on all aspects of health care and research. Real or assumed obstacles are not justifiable reasons for further delay in implementing this initiative
Attitudes; Bioethics; Biomedical Research; Biotechnology; Culture; Curriculum; Decision Making; Developing Countries; Education; Ethics; Health; Health Care; Knowledge; Life; Medical Students; Medicine; Patients; Physicians; Religion; Research; Stakeholders; Students; Technology; Bioethics Education; Education for Health Care Professionals; International and Political Dimensions of Biology and Medicine;
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