Last year, a course in clinical medical ethics for paediatricians had to be cancelled owing to lack of interest. To find the reason for this, and to learn what ethical problems the physicians encountered in the course of their work, how they solved them, and their attitude towards education in medical ethics, a questionnaire was sent to all members of The Norwegian Paediatric Association, to be answered anonymously. The most frequent excuses for not attending the course were pressure of work and lack of time. 37% claimed that they very often or often encountered ethical problems during their work. 20% often solved these problems alone, and two out of three after discussing them with colleagues. 51% felt a need to improve their competence to solve ethical problems. Only 16% reported having no such need. The authors discuss the form and content of the education in medical ethics.
To determine whether the opinions of Alberta physicians about active euthanasia had changed and to assess the determinants of potential changes in opinion.
Follow-up survey (mailed questionnaire) of physicians included in the 1991 Alberta Euthanasia Survey.
Of the 1391 physicians who participated in the 1991 survey 1291 (93%) had indicated that they were willing to take part in a follow-up survey. A follow-up questionnaire was mailed in 1994 to 1146 physicians who could be traced through the 1994 Medical Directory of the provincial college of physicians and surgeons; 25 questionnaires were returned because they could not be delivered.
Physicians' opinions about (a) the morality of active euthanasia, (b) changes in the law to permit active euthanasia and (c) the practice of legalized euthanasia.
Of the 1121 physicians sent a follow-up questionnaire 866 (77%) returned it completed. The responses of these same 866 physicians in 1991 provided a basis for comparison. Of the 866, 360 (42%) stated in the 1994 survey that it is sometimes right to practise active euthanasia; a similar proportion (384 [44%]) gave this response in 1991. However, other opinions changed significantly. In 1991, 250 of the respondents (29%) indicated that they would practise active euthanasia if it were legalized, as compared with 128 (15%) in 1994 (p
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Although clinical bioethics teaching (CBT) is not a required component of the essential curriculum for pediatric surgery residency, ethical considerations often accompany surgical decision making for infants and children. This study was designed to quantitate CBT during pediatric surgery residency (PSR) and to determine preferences about formal bioethics instruction.
An 80-item questionnaire was mailed to 140 graduates of accredited PSR in the United States and Canada. Questions included demographic data, experience in CBT during and after PSR, preferred topics and teaching methods, and self-assessed and objective competency in bioethics.
The response rate was 78% (n = 109); 72% completed PSR between 1990 and 1995 (mean, 1991). Formal CBT within the curriculum of PSR was reported by 9% of respondents; lecture and consultation with an ethicist were the most frequent teaching methods. Informal CBT was noted by 88% of pediatric surgeons; observation of patient cases with ethical dilemmas was the primary mode of instruction. Quality of life, withholding/withdrawal of care, informed consent, child abuse, and economics ranked highest for most important CBT topics, while euthanasia, clinical research trials, and cultural diversity were given low priority. The preferred teaching methods were case-based discussions and consultation with an ethicist. Although 97% favored additional CBT in all postgraduate training, respondents who completed advanced study in medical ethics (P
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the availability of death education, including teaching and evaluation methods, specific content areas, issues being addressed, and the background and expertise of the faculty members involved in teaching death and dying content. A questionnaire was developed based on the current literature and sent to 80 faculties of nursing and 36 faculties of medicine in Canada and the United Kingdom. The majority of nursing and medical schools that responded to the survey included death education, an integrated approach, through all years of their programs. Despite recent criticisms of Kubler-Ross's model of grieving, the majority of programs reported using her theory most frequently. The findings identify the current status of death education for health professionals in Canada and the United Kingdom, and implications for curriculum changes are discussed.