PROF. AMNON CARMI

Professor Amnon Carmi has developed and promoted the field of health law, medical ethics and bioethics for over fifty years. His academic activity embraced three layers: research, administration, and teaching. As part of his research, he has written and edited dozens of books, and  founded and edited the International journal for Medicine and Law. As part of  the administration he led and served for many years as President of the World Association for Medical Law. As part of his teaching, he has lectured at many universities on the five continents. The theme and vision of bioethics education grew and developed by Prof. Carmi during teaching in medical schools. In international studies conducted by him, he has noticed the failure of the accepted teaching method of medical ethics. Prof. Carmi devised a revolutionary teaching method of bioethics, and formulated it with the assistance of over a hundred senior educators from around the world. 

 

In 2001 UNESCO adopted this method, established the UNESCO Chair headed by Prof. Carmi, and authorized it to promote the method and disseminate it in academic institutions around the world. The method bases the teaching on "stories of cases". This is a description of medical cases that have obviously happened in hospitals or clinics, involving ethical dilemmas.

 

These cases are presented to students in conjunction with a series of different ethical “solutions”. The students take the place of the lecturers, that is: they are called to study the details of the cases, to learn the different solutions, to hold group discussions in each case and dilemma, to reach an agreed solution, and to reason their decisions. 

 

The advantage of this method lies in the fact that students cease to function as an audience of passive listeners to lectures or speeches. They themselves produce in a common discourse the necessary use of ethical principles as to the facts of the cases at hand. The conclusions they produce "belong" to them, and are carried by them when the time comes for the medical treatment provided by them.

 

In the first decade, Prof. Carmi recruited dozens of experts who produced hundreds of such cases. The Chair has published booklets that have included the cases accompanied by guidelines and recommendations.

 

In the second decade the Chair established more than 250 units, which promoted the teaching of bioethics in academic institutions on the five continents.

 

Towards the third decade, Prof. Carmi initiated the establishment and operation of an International Forum of Teachers that includes more than 1,200  educators, encouraged the establishment of over twenty professional departments, conceived and implemented the "World Bioethics Day" project,  initiated and promoted the teaching of bioethics for youth and children and promoted the Chair's engagement with the World Medical Association and additional international health organizations.