Ethics Education in Medicine

Ethics education in the Medical School at Memorial University takes place throughout all Phases of the MD programme. The goals of our ethics education are:

1. To expand knowledge of the medical humanities in general and of ethics in particular

2. To develop skills and abilities in relation to identifying and resolving ethical issues

3. To nurture attitudes of care and compassion to facilitate the practice of good medicine

Readings include the text, Doing Right: A Practical Guide to Ethics for Medical Trainees and Physicians, Philip C. Hebert, Oxford University Press. We teach to the Medical Council of Canada objectives.

To start, we examine the foundations of ethics, with focused attention on consent and confidentiality. We progress to focused learning and discussion on topics, including: the fundamentals of health law, duty of care, standard of care, disclosure and truth telling, conflicts of interest, resource allocation, ethical issues in pediatrics and reproductive health, genetics, withholding and withdrawing treatment, and end of life care.

Postgraduate medical ethics education includes an Ethics Foundations workshop for all first year medical residents as well as academic half-days specific to particular disciplines. Discipline and topic-specific ethics education has including training to residents and staff within the departments of Anesthesia, Family Medicine, Genetics, Laboratory Medicine, Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Radiology and Surgery.