With the intensifying bioethical debate, the need for substantial education in bioethics at the university level has become apparent. The need for education is, however, by no means restricted to the universities and applies at least to all those groups that potentially take part in making decisions on bioethical issues. Bioethics is already a part of the curricula in many medical, health care and science departments in the Nordic countries. However, there is no consensus on how to conduct this teaching, e.g. whether there should be special courses on bioethics or integration of ethics into traditional courses. There also seems to be a lack of well qualified teachers of bioethics.
With the quite urgent need for bioethical education in mind, the Nordic Committee on Bioethics 2001 decided to organize a seminar on the teaching of bioethics. The main themes of the seminar were to define the need for bioethics, to describe the present status of education in bioethics in the Nordic countries, to describe and compare different approaches to teaching bioethics in the Nordic countries, and to consider a common Nordic approach to promote education in bioethics.
Download the report Teaching Bioethics (2001)
The workshop 2001 confirmed the great demand for bioethics education. It also showed that both the quality and quantity of this education varies considerably from country to country, and also within the same country. The various teaching activities are not coordinated, and there is a need for competent teachers and suitable teaching material.
In order to promote bioethics education and the training of bioethics teachers, the committee initiated a second, more practically focused, workshop. The aims of this workshop were to inspire and motivate bioethics teachers in their work, and to enter deeper into the issues of how to best teach bioethics.
Download the report How to best teach bioethics (2003)
The Nordic Committee on Bioethics organized on the 27th of May 2008 a workshop in Oslo entitled «Teaching Material in Bioethics«. The purpose of the workshop was to identify excellent educational resources on bioethics that already were available in one or more Nordic languages, resources that could be translated and modified in order to make them available in all Nordic languages.
Download a short report from the workshop (2008) with useful links.
The Nordic Committee on Bioethics decided on the board meeting May 28th to establish a working group that was to give the committee specific advice on how to continue the work.
Download the report from the working group:
A Nordic Initiative in Bioethical Educational Resources (2008)