WHY TEACH “BIOETHICS AND HUMAN RIGHTS” TO HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONS UNDERGRADUATES?
Keywords:Bioethics, Human Rights, Biolaw, medical students, Nuremberg Trials, Codes of Medical Ethics, conscientious objection
This article highlights the importance of teaching “bioethics and human rights” to undergraduate students seeking health care degrees and illustrates how this topic fits well within these programs of studies. Historical, cultural, anthropological and practical reasons support teaching these topics as enrichment of medical training. The years after the Second World War showed how bioethics, human rights and medicine are closely intertwined. Moreover the relationship between human rights and bioethics has grown ever closer increasingly involving medicine and health care professionals. The authors observe that medical students have to face a cultural pluralism in bioethics and biolaw and we give students the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and logical argumentation abilities as well as their interest in academic research. Furthermore, the authors – who draw up briefly the experience of the Institute of Bioethics at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the UCSC (Rome) - assert the necessity to help medical students to be respectful of patients in every clinical setting. It is therefore of utmost importance to train students to focus on the ethical dimension of care and to make good ethical decisions even in dilemmatic cases. To achieve this outcome, healthcare professionals should possess an integral vision of their work (technical and humanistic competence) and sharp skills to reflect in depth, avoiding superficiality and negligence. From this perspective, the teaching of “bioethics and human rights” could be very useful.
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