Teaching bioethics in Health University Diploma Programs.

  • Antonio G. Spagnolo
  • Elio Sgreccia


Within University context, a shift in the educational system of many professional roles occurred. In fact, specific University Diplomas (UD) Programs have been run, which also requested a university level training in bioethics. The goals, as the ministerial plan reports, are giving the students the skill for evaluating their own behaviour, knowing the general and the specific bioethics principles that are the foundation of the informed consent and the evaluations of ethics committee, going deeper into the ethical-deontological issues about people care and assistance.

This article – which is a chapter of a “bioethics handbook” specifically addressed to students and teachers of UD – is intended to point at some aspects of the bioethics teaching problems.

First of all, it deals with the most convenient placing of this topic among the so called integrated courses. The authors give a presentation of the faculty of Medicine of the Catholic University of the Sacred Hearth and take into account the guidelines given by the National Committee of Bioethics; in accordance with them, the authors suggest the introduction of bioethics in the programs at the very first year, rather than at the last one.

As far as it concerns the expected objectives to be reached by the students, the article underlines the need of developing an increasing awareness and an adequate ability for rational analysis of professional moral dilemmas, in order to prepare the student for accepting his/her responsibilities as a health care worker, both individually and in equipes.

The authors propose a methodological teaching model that would be partly integrated with other subjects – in order to show the practical applications of bioethics – partly isolated – to better understand the theoretical core hidden behind any ethical decision making.

Finally, the introduction of a specific bioethics teacher role is requested. This would structure a proper training pattern which should as much as possible result from the integration of several different disciplines.



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How to Cite
Spagnolo, A. G., & Sgreccia, E. (1998). Teaching bioethics in Health University Diploma Programs. Medicina E Morale, 47(6), 1121-1140. https://doi.org/10.4081/mem.1998.814

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