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Avoiding evasion: medical ethics education and emotion theory
  1. C Leget
  1. Correspondence to:
 C Leget
 University Medical Centre Nijmegen, PO Box 9101, 232 EFG Nijmegen, 6500 HB, the Netherlands;


Beginning with an exemplary case study, this paper diagnoses and analyses some important strategies of evasion and factors of hindrance that are met in the teaching of medical ethics to undergraduate medical students. Some of these inhibitions are inherent to ethical theories; others are connected with the nature of medicine or cultural trends. It is argued that in order to avoid an attitude of evasion in medical ethics teaching, a philosophical theory of emotions is needed that is able to clarify on a conceptual level the ethical importance of emotions. An approach is proposed with the help of the emotion theory Martha Nussbaum works out in her book Upheavals of thought. The paper ends with some practical recommendations.

  • emotions
  • ethical theories
  • education

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