Medical ethics education: thoughts on a South African medical bioethics curriculum

  • PDG Richards University of Pretoria & eFACT Consultancy
  • GR Howarth University of Pretoria & eFACT Consultancy
  • PA Richards University of Pretoria & eFACT Consultancy


Medical ethics is becoming an increasingly integral part of undergraduate medical curricula world-wide. The recent social, educational and political changes in South Africa have emphasised the place of bioethics within the emerging integrated medical curricula in southern Africa. The bioethics programmes that are designed are often reliant on "developed" European/western paradigms for their source material and use a number of pedagogic styles to teach the subject within the formal medical curriculum. There has been little development of African syllabi in bioethics that reflect the plasticity of African thought, as well as developing the skills of ethical awareness, moral reasoning and ethical practice that are appropriate for the African context. In this article a possible starting point for such a syllabus is proposed in order to pave the way for open debate among those who are or who wish to be involved with the teaching of bioethics to learners in Africa.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol.16(3) 2002: 89-94

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1011-3487