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December 1991

What Should House Officers Know About Medical Ethics?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Baltimore, Md

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(12):2473. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400120105022

In Reply.—  We agree with Epstein's response that the ability of a house officer to engage in valid moral reasoning and its clinical application is a central goal of ethics education. That is why our curriculum included a specific lecture on the principles of ethics and a method of case analysis for both intervention groups and, for the intensive ethics education group, six case conferences that gave the house officers an opportunity to apply these to clinical situations. It is, however, also important to have a general factual background in bioethics, just as it is important to have a general factual background in other disciplines, such as immunology, genetics, and cell biology. In bioethics, this general factual background should include a basic vocabulary, necessary to intelligently read the ethics literature and to communicate effectively with colleagues, as well as knowledge of relevant law, which provides paradigm cases for ethical reflection

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