Evaluation: Medical Ethics (undergraduate level)

Official questionnaire, Medical Ethics, 4th year medical students, required, 10 hours

Unedited student comments

 

Medical School

 

As part of their final report (within 3 pages on A4 paper), medical students are asked to answer the questions below.

 

Q 1. Of the topics dealt with in class, which were interesting to you?

  • I was able to understand what kind of oppositional principles were in play in medical ethics.
  • Issues related to A Theory (utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics)
  • The four principles of medical ethics
  • Theoretical issues related to regenerative medicine
  • Videos
  • Dax’s case (4 students)
  • Informed consent (4 students)
  • I was struck by the fact that, according to honesty standards in medical research, re-using a text that you previously wrote yourself was still considered plagiarism.
  • Human experimentation after the war (I was surprised to hear that these had continued after the war)
  • Research ethics (5 students)
  • Ethical theory
  • The 3 principles of research
  • I was glad to have been able to hear about what kinds of ethical dilemmas come up in clinical settings, and how these should be considered. Starting with Kantian and other philosophies on ethics even outside of medical fields made it easy to get interested in the topic, so I was thankful for that.
  • The battle between “Providing the best treatment for the patient” and “You must respect the patient’s desires” (the problem of the Jehovah’s witness)
  • Ethical decisions in clinical settings
  • Medical ethics and the 4 principles therein: on the opposition (3 students)
  • Problems with transfusions in Jehovah’s witnesses. I got the impression that it was difficult to converse about these things.
  • Regulations on research with embryos
  • The four fundamental principles of medical ethics
  • The last film was impactful.
  • Kantian philosophy, ethical theory
  • About the “principles” of medical ethics. I sensed that we were thinking about these as we considered the various cases, but by verbalizing them, we were able to schematize it while thinking, and that was quite impactful. I might even go so far as to say that, as much as it helped my thinking (making judgments), the joy from obtaining a perspective was even greater.
  • Misunderstandings between research and treatment
  • Research misconduct/research ethics
  • Kant
  • Research ethics (making sure not to be opportunistic when selecting trial subjects, how to handle the gap with the group receiving the benefit)
  • Evaluating a patient’s decision-making capabilities
  • Through Dax’s case, I developed an interest in how far self-determination would be allowed.

 

Q2. Were there any topics that you wished were handled in class or about which you wanted to hear?

  • I would like to know what kinds of cases occur in actual medical care settings.
  • Details on conflicts of interest in research
  • When medical ethics and guidelines or laws to protect medical ethics are created, what kinds of people are cautious about what issues, and how are things prioritized in this process?
  • About research projects that are currently ongoing
  • Dax’s case
  • Euthanasia
  • Neuroethics
  • I wanted to hear a little more about end-of-life medical care
  • Medical care for patients with dementia
  • Issues with life-prolonging treatment
  • It sounds like even at the University of Tokyo there were quite a few arguments and uprisings about research ethics, but I wanted to learn more about the actual points of argument, and how these were ultimately resolved.
  • Interactions between medical caregivers and society
  • Interactions between society and medical caregivers as mediated by medical ethics
  • Cases in psychiatric medical care when the name of the disease is not conveyed
  • Opposition between value systems
  • There were quite a few difficult topics, and I thought it would have been good to have been able to discuss them rather than just have the problems/topics presented to us.
  • Actual cases pertaining to each of the 4 principles of medical care ethics
  • Ethical issues surrounding iPS cells
  • About actual medical care lawsuits
  • I wanted to hear how brain death is determined.
  • Maybe this is dealt with in upper grade levels, but “ethics” are supposedly always strongly pervasive in the pulse of society, but in the current Japan that has ushered in the aging society, I feel that ‘custom made’ ethics must be fairly prevalent, and wanted to ask about that.
  • Euthanasia/death with dignity, or other hot topics in the news—it would have been nice to have at least one example of such a topic introduced.
  • I wanted to hear about the (most recent) research studies conducted by the professors of medical ethics.
  • I had a hard time knowing intuitively what kinds of ethical issues were involved in a RCT on neurofeedback of patients with depression, so a hint would have been good.

 

Q3. What other thoughts or feedback do you have from the class?

  • With regard to ethical issues, specific examples were given in addition to the problems, which made it easy to think about them.
  • When thinking about medical ethics, there were many principles and concepts that needed to be considered, and many without a clear answer. It was very interesting as it required some complex thinking.
  • I felt that the issues in clinical settings without easy answers were difficult.
  • It was very thought-provoking.
  • Before the class I thought that ethics were like rhetoric, but I now understand that medical ethics are necessary in order to have progress in clinical and research fields, and it was a very meaningful course for me.
  • The explanations were thorough and easy to understand.
  • It was very easy to understand with the many specific examples that were given.
  • Recently, I caught my father, a diabetic, sneaking sweets at night, and was filled with strong hatred toward this. In this instance, I thought a little about which would bring more joy: “a long life of self-deprivation” versus “living the way you want to, even if your life is shortened and full of pain because of the complications.” As I look toward becoming a physician in the future, I want to think more about how I will guide my patients, and how I will respect their values.
  • The cadence of the way he speaks made it easy to listen.
  • It was a very meaningful class. Thank you.
  • I learned a lot about informed consent.
  • Even though it was for few credits, the class was well organized.
  • I liked the content, and it was very interesting.
  • I learned a lot. Thank you.
  • I was surprised to learn that ethics is actually quite structured.
  • It was easy to understand with all the specific examples.
  • The videos left a big impression on me. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that the U.S. is a litigious society (I don’t know about Canada), but I did wish that there were some visual resources based in Japan on topics that come up frequently in Japan. Thank you for providing us time to think in the form of a class.
  • Normally, I have a lot of clinical classes, so it was very valuable to be able to think deeply and focus on medical ethics in this class.
  • Learning the fundamental process of using the 4 principles to think about issues was very helpful.
  • I wanted to know if you (the teacher) had read all of “The Critique of Pure Reason.” If you have, please give me some tips on how to get through all of it.
  • I thought that ‘ethics’ were ambiguous and had no solid standards for judgments (and none that anyone agreed upon), but through this class, I learned that this was not the case, that it was a lot more structured than I had thought, theoretical, and elegant. I feel more at ease knowing that when I am up against a challenge in judgment, I can use some of what I learned in this class to make sound decisions.
  • I found myself thinking a lot about how we are to be as humans, beyond the boundaries of medicine. Thank you.
  • All students of medicine should have a good understanding of ethics.
  • Ethics represent a fundamental issue, so more time should be spent on them.