Bioethical Attributes                   Orient Journal of Medicine                    Vol 29 [3-4] Jul-Dec, 2017


Familiarity Deficit, Knowledge and Related Bioethical Attributes of Nigerian University Final Year Public Health Students after Cancellation of Free-Standing Bioethics Course

Department of Public Health
Madonna University
Elele Campus
Rivers State, NIGERIA

Phone: +234 803 543 5310

Received: June 9th, 2017
Accepted: July 24th, 2017

No conflict of interest to declare

Background: Free-standing ethics course offered to Public Health students at Madonna University Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria, was cancelled. The medical ethics course is considered inadequate for public health practice. Further, theoretical ethics knowledge was criticized as not being translated to expected high standard of ethical conduct. Ethics training was thus left to mentoring, insertions and case discussions across subjects.
Objective: To assess the extent of familiarity deficit with ethics related items and the level of knowledge in healthcare ethics of the affected final year students.
Methodology: Self administered structured questionnaire using modified past ethics questions was the instrument for data collection. Analysis was by use of electronic calculator with results presented in percentages and bar chart.
Result: Of a total of 1320 respondents the overall familiarity deficit was 380 (29%). The highest was in Evolution of Healthcare Ethics 205 (62%). Judgment of Actions in Healthcare had the least 12 (3.6%). The overall level of ethics knowledge was 284 (21.5%). The highest was in Judgment of Actions in Healthcare 126 (38%). The least was in Evolution of Healthcare Ethics 36 (11%).
Conclusion: Absence of free-standing course is associated with deficiency in ethics language, history, concepts and knowledge. Free-standing course, ethical insertions across domains, awareness of mutuality of benefits in good behaviour plus character training might improve informed ethical conduct.

Key words: Hobbes, Butler, Harm, Mutuality, Benefits, Morality.