Student perspectives on a course on medical ethics in Saudi Arabia
واصفات البياناتعرض سجل المادة الكامل
Medical students face ethical issues as early as the first year of medical school. Teaching bioethics is challenging because medical students and some teachers make a distinction between hard science and so-called ‘soft’ ones like bioethics. Courses in ethics were taught in the first and third years at the College of Medicine at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at the time this study was conducted. The objective of this study was to determine the students’ perspectives of the courses and their attitudes towards teaching ethics. Methods: A predesigned, self-administered, piloted questionnaire was administered to all students in the third year. The questions covered the curriculum, the methods of instruction and the content of the course. Results: The response rate to 327 questionnaires distributed was 77%. Most students were satisfied with the course and its timing (84%), but more than 85% considered that the method of instruction should be changed to case-based teaching. A majority (89%) agreed that ethical issues based on Islamic fiqh (jurisprudence) should continue to be discussed, and they wished to discuss issues related to the doctor–patient relationship and professionalism. The students’ preferences for the topics to be covered were: brain death (76.8%), organ transplantation (72.4%), cosmetic surgery (68.8%), abortion (66.8%), terminal care (61.6%), reproduction (59.6%), doctors’ rights (56.4%), end-of-life issues (56%) and medical errors (45%). Conclusions: The medical students were satisfied with the course and its content but were dissatis- fied with the method of instruction. This was taken into consideration in subsequent years.