A Design of Bioethics Curriculum Specific for the New Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate Programme
Yuen-Keng Ng and Maria Sen-Mun Wai
Biomedical scientists are expected to be socially responsible while pursuing scientific advancements. To develop professionalism, bioethics training is included in year 2 curriculum of the latest BSc in Biomedical Sciences Programme. Our faculty has already incorporated bioethics teaching in the MBChB curriculum, the current teaching contents are targeting for medical professional trainees. Hence, a direct adoption of the current curriculum into the biomedical sciences programme may not be suitable for our research-oriented trainees. Furthermore, novel biomedical technologies are rapidly emerging, there is a pressing need to teach our students how to cope with the evolvement of controversial biomedical issues. In light of this, we have designed a new bioethics curriculum with emphasis on training critical thinking and decision-making skills.
Our curriculum is designed to compose of 2 major components. First is a series of lectures conducted by experienced and active research members of our School, who manage to share the front-line view on the ethical landscape together with potential frauds, conflicts, or violations that commonly encountered in routine biomedical research. Second is another series of lectures conducted by other School members who are currently involving in bioethics teachings. The goal of these lectures is to nurture the student’s skill in applying the Ethical Decision Making Model for tackling ethical dilemmas. By the end of the course, the students are assessed for their ethical decision-making skills through 1) responses in the interactive discussion in class and 2) presentation of decision rationales in individual write-up on given scenarios of recent biomedical advancements.