Department     College of Asia Pacific Studies
   Position   Professor
Language English
Publication Date 2012/05
Type Research paper (Academic/Professional Journal)
Peer Review Peer reviewed
Title Cross-cultural Bioethics at an International University in Japan
Contribution Type Joint Work
Journal Philosophy Study
Volume, Issue, Page 2(5),pp.362-369
Author and coauthor Nader Ghotbi, Darryl Macer
Details Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Beppu city, Japan, has a large body of students from well over 90 countries, especially from the Asia Pacific region including Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian students. To improve analytical thinking skills among college students, a course on “bioethics” was introduced and offered in two consecutive semesters to undergraduate students for which 245 students registered at each semester. The course was taught in the form of 14 lecture and discussion sessions each for 95 minutes based on the content of “D. Macer, A cross-cultural introduction to bioethics, Eubios Ethics Institute, 2006”, and reviewed a wide variety of ethical and bioethical issues. In the next semester the students received a similar teaching content that was rearranged to reflect the 15 universal principles of bioethics and human rights covered in the “Bioethics Core Curriculum, UNESCO, 2008”. Case studies were also added. To evaluate the results of teaching and to compare the achieved objectives between the two groups of students, a short questionnaire was given to all students who finished the course and took up the final written examination. In the whole, 454 students (225 in group 1 and 229 in group 2) completed the course and took the final examination from whom 429 (218 in group 1 and 211 in group 2) responded to the questionnaire which inquired into their interest in the discussion of bioethical issues, why they believed they were important, and what they had learned through them. The results of the questionnaire have been examined and compared to evaluate the success of “bioethics” in stimulating the interest and thinking ability of the students and their experience of a cross-cultural discussion over bioethical issues using universal principles as general guidance.
Note: The result of this examination was so impressive that from 2011, bioethics has been formalized into the reformed curriculum of our international school.
ISSN 2159-5313