Table 1.

Broad overview of the “thinking ethics” program

Session (Main Theme)TriggerWhen Conducted, Theory/Practical ClassMethod (Discussion Linked To)Additional Reading (Ref. Nos.)
Ethical issues related to residual/waste samplesAnalysis of a blood sample for hemoglobin from the blood bankPracticalPower point presentation of the story of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell line30, 33
Anonymity and confidentiality of data setsStudent data of hemoglobin values on the blackboard with identifier links to roll numbers as identifiersPracticalDocumentation of hemoglobin and red blood cells on blackboard for statistical analysis of sex and hematological differences in hematological indexes36
Informed consent and personal autonomyTheory class on lymphaticsTheoryCase history of a patient who required lymph node biopsy. Enumeration of elements of a consent form by the students36
Social justice–affordable careTheory class on the physiology of the neuromuscular junctionTheoryCase history of a patient with Myasthenia gravis requiring ventilator support9
Labeling patient with a diagnosisPractical class on blood pressure recordingPracticalCase history of a patient diagnosed with hypertension but not counseled26
Research using animalsDemonstration of amphibian recording muscle and nerve and cardiovascular experiments through video recordingPracticalPower point presentation on the use/abuse of animals in research32
Ethical challenges related to end-of-life careTheory class: Applied Physiology of Gastrointestinal TractTheoryCase history of a patient who is terminally ill with intestinal cancer, leading to issues related to withdrawal of treatment and the debate around a “good” death5
Ethical issues related to clinical examination of a patientClinical physiology practical where students volunteer to be examined by their peersPracticalInteractive session using blackboard on issues of “greater good” and “putting yourself into the shoes of the other”31
Ethical issues related to stigmaTheory class on endocrine disorders, namely gigantism, dwarfism, cretinismPracticalPower point presentation with a discussion on the impact of stigma (often related to visible physical disability) on health issues37
Affordable care: ethical dilemma for a doctor in resource-poor conditionsTheory class on renal dialysisPracticalInterview with a clinician and a social worker addressing ethical issues, namely of social responsibility, full disclosure of situation, and limitations of a doctor6, 27
Summarizing session and preparation: Preparation of the students for clinical exposureToward the end of the preclinical yearPracticalPower point presentation of recap of all the above sessions, followed by interactive session by a Professor of Medicine and Ethics on the transition from preclinical to clinical training