How can ethics be taught?

Artvinli F., Aksu M., Bakirci N., Cokar M., Çakar T., Demir F., ...More

Turkish Journal of Bioethics, vol.2, no.3, pp.213-224, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Journal Name: Turkish Journal of Bioethics
  • Journal Indexes: Other Indexes
  • Page Numbers: pp.213-224


How can ethics be taught in health sciences?

Cambridge Consortium of Bioethics Education Turkey Working Group
Corresponding Drafter: M. Volkan Kavas. Ankara University, Faculty Of Medicine, Department Of History Of Medicine And Ethics, Ankara, Turkey

The Cambridge Consortium of Bioethics Education was established by the Cambridge University Press in 2011 to encourage people and institutions to work together on developing bioethics education in their countries. To that aim, Consortium initiated country-based working groups including Turkey by setting up working groups to share information and develop mutual projects with each other. Turkey Working Group specified its aims and strategies to raise awareness in ethics education and moral decision making and share ideas on professionalism curricula in order to further model how bioethics is taught in universities, hospitals, and for the general public by a series of workshops.
The Turkey Working Group realized its third workshop on the theme “How can ethics be taught in health sciences?" to discuss developing an approach towards the current challenges of methodology of ethics education in the context of healthcare professionals’ moral development. By answering this question, the Workshop aimed to emancipate educators, professionals from clichés by encouraging them to seek ways for innovative educational methods, by giving emphasis on the importance of collaboration and interaction. We think the systematical review of the themes referred by the Group in this workshop, would be a useful initial structural ground for further discussions and implementations.
The learning environment of medical education has both negative and positive influences on students’ acquisition of ethics-related skills, as well as professional skills, knowledge and attitudes. Considering the recent trend in medical education towards more student-centered and professional values-oriented curricula, one should expect that today graduates are more humanistic and virtuous. On the other hand, students are generally idealistic and compassionate when they start the journey to become doctors. However, despite students’ good intentions and medical schools’ struggle for improving teaching of ethics, related skills and attitudes, cynicism emerges eventually in most of the students while they are becoming healthcare professionals. The Cambridge Bioethics Education Turkey Group proposes that a student-centered and professional values-oriented curriculum can help to raise more humanistic and virtuous students. Despite the barriers in the current structure of modern medicine and medical education, there are effective student-centered teaching methods and various strategies to overcome negative influences of the hidden curricula, which in the end help us produce better equipped healthcare professionals in terms ethical competency, moral awareness and reflective skills.

Keywords: Medical Education, Professional Values, Professionalism, Team Working