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Is UNESCO’s Undergraduate Bioethics Integrated Curriculum (Medical) fit for purpose?
  1. Ilora G Finlay1,2,
  2. Kartina A Choong3,
  3. Seshagiri R Nimmagadda4
  1. 1 House of Lords, London, UK
  2. 2 School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  3. 3 Lancashire Law School, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
  4. 4 Thornford Park Hospital, Thatcham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kartina A Choong, Lancashire Law School, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK; kachoong{at}


In 2017, UNESCO introduced an Undergraduate Bioethics Integrated Curriculum to be taught in Indian medical schools, with an implied suggestion that it could subsequently be rolled out to medical schools in UNESCO’s other member states. Its stated aim is to create ethical awareness from an early stage of a doctor’s training by infusing ethics instructions throughout the entire undergraduate medical syllabus. There are advantages to a standardised integrated curriculum where none existed. However, the curriculum as presently drafted risks failing to achieve its laudable aims. There are important lessons to be drawn from UNESCO’s First Syllabus for Youth Bioethics Education (2018), which is aimed at schoolchildren and teenagers, and represents a creative, effective and culturally sensitive way to teach bioethics.

  • applied and professional ethics
  • education for health care professionals
  • ethics
  • education

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  • Contributors The idea for this article was jointly conceived and all authors discussed its structure and contents. IGF and KAC wrote the first drafts, in consultation with and receiving editorial comments from SRN. Each iteration was circulated among the three authors and comments collated. All authors approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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