EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ASPECTS OF PROVIDING HEALTH CARE

© 2016 Valentina Ivanovna Kharitonova

2016 – №1 (11)


22046659_826019167562522_7204319644849690888_n (1)Key words: medical anthropology, bioethics, medical ethics, clinical psychology, specialist in the field of cultural and ethical competencies, medical anthropologist, bioethicist, ethical consultant, medical practitioner, researcher, medical education, Master’s, Postgraduate studies, “All-Russian classifier of occupations of workers, positions of employees and tariff grades” (OKPDTR), academic degree, VAK

Abstract: The article discusses the problem of training and employment opportunities of integrative practitioners (consultants) in the field of medical anthropology and bioethics in Russia. As far as education of researchers is concerned, the article dwells on the issue of defending of theses and receiving academic degrees in medical anthropology and bioethics. The author suggests introducing courses in bioethics, medical ethics, deontology, history of medicine, medical anthropology (including lectures on various therapeutic and prophylactic traditional medical systems (TMS), practices of traditional medicine and folk medicine) to medical students. One of the important issues addressed  in the text is development of professional standards and inclusion of such auxiliary professions as a specialist (consultant) in the field of cultural and ethical competencies, medical anthropologist, bioethicist in the All-Russian Classifier of Occupations of Workers, Employee and Tariff Categories (OKPDTR). These professions are important both for the improvement of the health care system and other spheres, for example, non-conventional medicine, education, social work.


How exactly the new professions will be called is a matter of the near future. The urgent need for their institutionalization becomes evident not only when we look at the situation in the Russian healthcare: at the “battles” inside medical clinics which sometimes end even with fatal outcomes. Some people have started talking about them trying to calculate the probabilistic changes. For example, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI1) recently issued the “Atlas of New Professions” (ASI, 2014/2015, Skolkovo), which is updated and improved every year. It has the section “Medicine” where after 2020 of a new profession of “bioethicist” is pictured, along with such auxiliary medical professions of the near future (2020-2030-ies) as “IT-medical practitioner”, “IT-geneticist”, “architect of medical equipment”, “developer of cyber-prostheses and implants”, “expert of personalized medicine”, etc. This agrees perfectly with Article 23 (“Education, training and information in the field of bioethics”) of the” Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights” (October 19, 2005) at the 33rd session of the UNESCO General conference.

Bioethicist, or ethical consultant, is a “specialist providing normative and ethical frameworks for the activities of medical, diagnostic and bioengineering centers which carry out services of transplantology and genetic engineering. No advanced laboratory will do without consulting a bioethicist, especially when it comes to cloning organs and serious interference with embryo genes”. (Atlas … 2015: 49).

In our current situation, while we have not yet begun cloning organs and actively interfering in the genes of embryos, simple ethical counseling is also necessary – there are plenty of reasons for that. They also arise very often in the field of normal medical ethics, and many people believe that for peaceful resolution of conflicts a clinical psychologist can be sufficient, as he/she represents an our already existing profession. Still, many conflicts are not acknowledged by our medicine, as well as social workers and even lawyers. These conflicts may have anthropological aspects (ethnoconfessional, religious, ethnocultural), and hence should be resolved by professional medical anthropologists.

The issue of training mid-level specialists in the field of medical anthropology and bioethics is also acute. In this case, we are talking about practitioners, not scientists and researchers (on bioethicists see Kurlenkova, Loue 2011; on medical anthropologists Piterskaya 2011).

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