Knowledge and Perceptions of Health Workers’ Training on Ethics, Confidentiality and Medico-Legal Issues
OBJECTIVE To introduce contextual legal issues, and the role of law in resolving ethical dilemmas, in a women's health ethics curriculum for third-year medical students. METHODS Seventeen third-year medical students at Emory University School of Medicine, rotating on an 8-week obstetrics and gynecology clerkship, and 8 third-year law students from the Georgia State University College of Law attended four 1-hour ethics sessions conducted by an obstetrician and gynecologist, a law professor and an ethics fellow. Each student group completed a short survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the sessions. RESULTS The overwhelming majority, 20 of 25 (80%) of the combined student group ranked the sessions a level 6 or 7 (the highest level) and suggested continuation of the interdisciplinary group format. The majority of the combined student group, 14 of 25 (56%), also viewed the multidisciplinary nature of the group as the most helpful aspect of the sessions. For the medical students, additional helpful aspects included having the legal perspective from persons who actually study the law. For the law students, other helpful aspects included the informal roundtable discussion format and the structured 4-quadrant model. CONCLUSION Incorporation of medical and law students into a discussion group for resolving ethical dilemmas is a satisfying method for discussion of legal issues in the women's health ethics curriculum. It enriches the understanding of students from both disciplines.