UNESCO program on Bioethics put into practice
Within the framework of consistent implementation of the UNESCO policy addressing the improvement of teaching bioethics in the UNESCO member-states, members of the Regional Network of National Bioethics Committees are developing methods for teaching ethics and human rights in the system of professional medical education and for providing available knowledge in bioethics on the level of personal postgraduate studies.
The promotion of the UNESCO Ethics Teaching Programme became a priority for the St.-Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University of Healthcare (SPbSPMU). Staff members of the Chair of Humanities and Bioethics are co-authors of “The Current State of Bioethics Education in the System of Medical Education in the CIS Countries”, (2010) a joint publication by UNESCO and Inter parliament Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and worked out “Study Guide on Law for medical Students” in compliance with the UNESCO Programme. Introduced into the SPbSPMU curriculum, these materials will certainly facilitate the creation of ethical mechanisms for a moderate control of the adherence to legal norms regulating professional medical activity, which have precedence over juridical regulation mechanisms.
With regard to interdisciplinary education, a special attention is given to the promotion of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005), and the development of ethical guidelines for situations of “double loyalty” occurring in professional activity of epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and authorized persons responsible for decision making in case of epidemic (pandemic) situations. The latter is performed through a series of a special lecture cycle “Ethical and Legal Aspects in Infectology and Vaccine Prevention” published by the Pasteur Science and Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in the multidisciplinary journal “Infections and Immunity” Part 1 and Part 2.