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Teaching ethics in Europe
  1. Frédérique Claudot1,
  2. François Alla2,
  3. Xavier Ducrocq3,
  4. Henry Coudane1
  1. 1Department of Legal and Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nancy University, France
  2. 2School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nancy University, France
  3. 3Department of Neurology, University Hospital/Faculty of Medicine, Nancy University, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr F Claudot
 Service de Médecine légale et de Droit de la Santé, Faculté de médecine de Nancy, 9 avenue de la Forêt de Haye 54505 Vandoeuvre les Nancy Cedex, France; fclaudot{at}medecine.uhp-nancy.fr

Abstract

Aim: To carry out an appropriate overview and inventory of the teaching of ethics within the European Union Schools of Medicine.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent by email to 45 randomly selected medical schools from each of 23 countries in the European Union in February 2006.

Results: 25 schools of medicine from 18 European countries were included (response rate = 56%). In 21 of 25 medical schools, there was at least one ethics module. In 11 of 25 medical schools, the teaching of ethics was transversal. Only one of the responding schools did not teach ethics. The mean time invested in ethics teaching was 44 h during the overall curriculum.

Conclusions: Ethics now has an established place within the medical curriculum throughout the European Union. However, there is a notable disparity in programme characteristics among schools of medicine.

  • WMA, World Medical Association

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

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