Family medicine bioethics curriculum: clinical cases and references.

College of Family Physicians of Canada. Ethics Committee.

This resource material is intended to facilitate ethics education in family medicine training programs. It may be used by teachers or learners; in small group discussions or in formal teaching sessions; in whole or in part. It is not the definitive work in ethics education, nor is it complete. It may be useful to foster education and discussion in an area that many family physicians find intimidating. It is hoped that users may themselves be stimulated to develop their own cases and teaching modules, which may be incorporated into subsequent versions of this material.

There is a sample teaching module entitled "Problem-Solving: Analytical Methodology in Clinical Ethics" provided to give direction as to how to organize the teaching of ethics for family physicians. There is also a demonstration case analysis included here as an example of a typical approach to working through a specific problem area. This is followed by a list of topic areas in ethics relevant to family physicians and connected to clinical cases from real life, designed to stimulate discussion in each of the topic areas.

The College’s Committee on Ethics supports the development and implementation of teaching programs in the ethics of family medicine to meet a formal requirement for such teaching in residency training. The Committee does not advocate for a single proscriptive ethics curriculum. Rather, it advocates for an integrated approach, based on the Four Principles of Family Medicine and the patient-centered model, that addresses the needs and objectives of ethics education for clinicians. It supports the development of innovative teaching initiatives that are sensitive to and reflect the needs, circumstances, and resources unique to each program. 

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