Animating Clinical Ethics: A Structured Method to Teach Ethical Analysis Through Movies

HEC Forum:1-11 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Movies can serve valuable didactic purposes teaching clinical ethics to medical students. However, using film sequences as means to develop critical thinking is not a straightforward task. There is a significant gap in the literature regarding how to analyse the ethical content embedded in these clips systematically, in a way that facilitates the students’ transition from anecdotal reflections to abstract thinking. This article offers a pedagogical proposal to approach the ethical analysis of film sequences in a systematic fashion. This structured stepwise method encourages students to identify the main ethical problem of a selected scene and to reflect on the theoretical principles involved, emphasizing the application of these norms and values in a contextually situated analysis. We believe this method in film studies both reinforces the students’ comprehension of the theoretical framework of an ethical topic, and casts light on its pertinence and limitations under the circumstances of the scene, thus proving a constructive tool to strengthen the bridge between the theoretical teaching of clinical ethics and clinical practice.

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