Korean J Med Educ.  2000 Jun;12(1):97-105.

An Examination of the Effects of a Newly Implemented Course in Medical Ethics on Senior Medical Students

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Dankook University.
  • 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, College of Medicine, Dankook University.


The Korean medical establishment has traditionally shown little concern for formal training in medical ethics; only recently have courses in medical ethics been included in the curricula of Korea's medical schools. The importance and effectiveness of such courses is still a matter of some debate. This study attempted to measure the effects of a course in medical ethics on senior medical students. For this study, a discussion based course was designed, which made considerable use of video-taped ethical situations. Students were requested to answer a series of ethics related questions both before and after taking the course. Prior to taking the course, students indicated that treatment refusal, abortion, sex pre-selection, and euthanasia are the most important ethical issues in contemporary medical practice in Korea. However, after taking the course, students modified this list slightly by replacing the issue of euthanasia with that of equal access to health care resources. No significant changes were observed in students' value systems. The students' response to the course was favorable.


Medical ethics; Medical ethics education; Ethical theories; Value systems

MeSH Terms

Ethical Theory
Ethics, Medical*
Health Services Accessibility
Schools, Medical
Students, Medical*
Treatment Refusal
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