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Bioethics Curricula - Introduction

This curriculum focuses on important topics faced by surgeons. Each module contains curricular objectives, a case, a lesson plan, a summary that can be used as a handout called the bioethics bottom line, and references. Several modules include teaching aids with a suggested pedagogic method such as standardized patient scripts (a teaching method introduced by Dr. Peter Singer for internal medicine), and suggestions for transparencies. During a typical one-hour session, the first twenty minutes might be spent with the pedagogic method and the remaining time in a facilitated discussion using the lesson plan provided. At the conclusion of the session, the bioethics bottom line may be handed out along with the suggested references. Many of the references are to a series of articles on bioethics entitled "Bioethics for Clinicians", published 1996-1997 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The Bioethics Education Project Subcommittee has adapted the successful program developed by Peter Singer for teaching bioethics to medical residents. This program is case-based and frequently uses standardized patients (SPs) as the pedagogic method. We gratefully acknowledge the expert contribution of Anja Robb and Diana Tabak in developing these cases and training the SPs. For information about implementing an SP program, please contact Anja at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, 801-620 University Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C1, phone: 416-978-3465; fax: 416-978-3912; she will be able to put you in touch with SP coordinators at your own university, and give helpful guidance.

The other members of the Bioethics Education Project Subcommittee, Elizabeth Flagler, Glenn Griener, François Primeau, and Peter Singer, gave many hours of thought and effort to the development of this manual. I am grateful for their excellent contributions.

I will take responsibility for any faults that are found in this iteration of the curriculum, and would appreciate feedback to correct them. Please send your comments to Martin McKneally, The Toronto Hospital, Eaton North 10-230, 200 Elizabeth St., Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C4; fax 416-340-3478.

Please note that the material in this manual is not copyrighted and may be freely reproduced for educational purposes.

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