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.