Ethics should play a greater role in medical training
- By: Tony Hope
You only have to read the newspapers for a week or two to learn that medicine is a moral enterprise, as well as a scientific one. For example, a couple whose daughter had died wanted to choose the sex of their next child using the technique of embryo selection. This was forbidden by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Embryo selection was the relevant technology in another story. The life of a child with Fanconi's syndrome could be saved, but only if the parents had another child who could provide the necessary bone marrow. Should one child be brought into the world, and its characteristics selected, as a means of saving the life of its sibling?
Students and doctors need time to consider the ethical values that inform medical practice. These values must become explicit; they must be subjected to analysis, counterargument, discussion, and they must be considered from different