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pISSN : 2005-8284 / eISSN : 2234-3598

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2006, Vol.9, No.1

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    Suicide as "Thingified" Death

    Jae Sub YANG | Mi Jung Koo | 2006, 9(1) | pp.28~43 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    Suicide as "Thingified" Death This article examines the issue of suicide in South Korea, where the overall suicide rate has increased significantly since 1997. In 2004 South Korea had the highest suicide rate among all OECD countries. The article begins with a definition of suicide as "thingified" death. Suicide is "thingified" death insofar as the agent is deprived of the possibility of a good death or the right to die with dignity. The article presents a description and analysis of typical cases of suicide in South Korea. After considering the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of suicide, the article provides theological and ethical analyses of suicide. The Old Testament story of Job is introduced as a theological model of enduring life no matter how much suffering it involves. Finally, the article evaluates the notion of ownership of life, individual autonomy, and the freedom to kill ourselves in light of Eastern philosophical and religious traditions. Keywords: suicide, "thingified" death, Job, ownership of life, religious wisdom
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    Ethics Education in Medical Schools in Korea: Current status and problems concerning teachers, materials, and methodologies

    Eunkyung Choi | Chang, KeeHyun | 김수연 and 2other persons | 2006, 9(1) | pp.44~59 | number of Cited : 17
    Abstract PDF
    This study examines the current status of ethics education in medical schools in Korea and addresses the following questions: "Who teaches medical ethics?" "What is taught?" and "How is it taught?" The study also surveys opinions on the questions of "Who should teach medical ethics?" "What should be taught?" and "How should it be taught?" From March to May 2006, a questionnaire was developed and sent to educators of medical ethics in Korea. Out of the 41 medical schools that received the questionnaire, 37 (90.2%) replied. Thirty six medical schools provide ethics education as part of their regular curricula; 28 schools (75.7%) offer independent courses in medical ethics, while 6 schools provide integrated/special lectures in medical schools. Thirty three medical schools (80.5%) reported teaching ethics in only one year of their curriculum, while the remaining 8 medical schools reported teaching ethics in 2 or more years. Two medical schools provided ethics courses in 5 years. Most schools offer ethics courses in the second or third year of medical schools, and 8 schools (21.6%) provide instruction in ethics in two or more medical courses. With respect to the question of who teaches, in 25 schools (67.6%) only one professor teaches medical ethics, while in the remaining 12 schools there are two or more instructors. Thirty schools do not have a full-time faculty member for medical ethics education. With respect to the question of what is taught, the most common content areas are 'ethical concepts,' 'the ethics of death and dying,' 'reproductive ethics,' and 'doctor-patient relationships.' As for the question of how it is taught, the most common methods are lectures (34 schools, 91.9%), group discussions (24 schools, 64.9%), and case studies. The majority of respondents indicated that current medical ethics education in Korea fails to meet the goals and standards of ethics education. The principal causes of this, according to respondents, are as follows: 1) an insufficient allocation of time for ethics education; 2) the lack of qualified instructors; and 3) the lack of recognition and support for the importance of ethics education in medical schools. As for the question of who should teach medical ethics, most of the educators believe that a team consisting of ethicists, clinicians, medical humanists, lawyers, and specialists is most suitable. Respondents ranked the following as the most important content areas: 1) 'ethical concepts'; 2) 'doctor-patient relationships'; 3) 'human rights and doctors.' The ranking reveals a continuing stress on the conceptual and theoretical bases for medical ethics. Concerning teaching methods, most respondents replied that the best method is small group discussion, although it is impractical due to the lack of teaching faculty. At a workshop where these results were discussed, educators of medical ethics expressed a need, given the lack of resources and professional personnel in Korea, to build a network to share resources and information for the betterment of ethics education in Korea.
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    A Critical Review of Current Medical Ethics Education in Korea

    KWON Ivo | 2006, 9(1) | pp.60~72 | number of Cited : 32
    Abstract PDF
    A Critical Review of Current Medical Ethics Education in Korea Ivo Kwon Department of Medical Education, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine There are numerous problems with the medical ethics education currently practiced in Korea. In the first place, there is a lack of consensus regarding the goals of medical ethics education. Some educators seek to promote morality or good character in medical students, while others focus on advanced bioethical issues such as euthanasia or organ transplantation. Secondly, there is confusion concerning teaching methods. Lectures, small group discussions, so called "dilemma discussions", PBL, TBL, and public service components are all used without any clear educational purpose and strategy. Thirdly, there are problems with evaluation; few know how to evaluate students' performance or measure the effects of medical ethics education. In this article, I argue that the promotion of medical ethics competency based on the medical professionalism should be recognized as the ultimate goal of basic medical ethics education. Medical ethics competency is composed of knowledge, problem solving skills, and professionalism, and it covers three different domains: medical ethics, bioethics, and professional ethics. Instructional tools and methods should be constructed and implemented to achieve this goal of medical ethics competency, which will in turn help to promote medical professionalism in Korea. Key Words : medical ethics education, professionalism, medical ethics competency
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    An evaluation of the level of moral development of clinical nurses in Korea

    Sung-Hee Ahn | Lee,Mi Aie | Mija Shin and 2other persons | 2006, 9(1) | pp.73~84 | number of Cited : 9
    Abstract PDF
    An evaluation of the level of moral development of clinical nurses in Korea This study was conducted to evaluate the level of moral development of clinical nurses in Korea. Data were collected through self-reported questionnaires received from 187 clinical nurses in Korea from March 1 to 15, April 2006. The Korean version of the DIT (Rest's Defining Issues Test) was adopted to evaluate levels of moral development, which was measured by the score of P(%) and stage 4. The data were analyzed by a t-test, ANOVA. The results were as follows: 1) The mean score of P(%) and stage 4 was 39.66 (SD=13.34) and 16.20 (SD=8.12) respectively; 2) The score of P(%) revealed significant differences by marital status, nursing ethics education, and employment rank; 3) The score of stage 4 revealed significant differences by age, education level, birthplace, employment rank, and amount of clinical experience. In conclusion, while nursing ethics education should be helpful for enhancing nurses' moral development, this study suggests that it is necessary to develop the content of nursing ethics education and to evaluate its effectiveness. key words : moral development, nursing ethics education, Rest's Defining Issues Test
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    Revising the Korean Bioethics and Biosafety Act:Should researchers be prohibited from donating oocytes?

    John Michael McGuire | 2006, 9(1) | pp.85~97 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Revising the Korean Bioethics and Biosafety Act: Should researchers be prohibited from donating oocytes? John Michael McGuire Recent public investigations into the human embryonic stem cell research of Hwang Woo-Suk and his colleagues have brought to light a plethora of ethical problems associated with that research as well as numerous deficiencies in the existing legislation designed to prevent such problems, the Korean Bioethics and Biosafety Act (KBBA). In response to these revelations, the Korean National Bioethics Commission and the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare are currently in the process of revising the KBBA to ensure that future stem cell research in Korea is carried out in an ethically responsible manner. In this paper I focus on one of the ethical problems raised by Hwang’s research: the issue of oocyte donations by junior researchers. I address the following two questions: 1) Did Hwang violate ethical guidelines in accepting oocyte donations from junior researchers? 2) Should the KBBA be revised to prohibit oocyte donations from junior researchers? With respect to the first question, I argue that, contrary to popular opinion, Hwang did not violate the Helsinki Declaration in accepting oocytes donations from junior researchers. In response to the second question, I argue that the KBBA should indeed be revised to prohibit junior researchers from donating oocytes for research in which they themselves are involved. Key Words: Korean Bioethics and Biosafety Act, Hwang Woo-Suk, oocyte donors, informed consent, the Helsinki Declaration