The Bioethics Cross-cultural Education Program (BioCEP) is a cooperative effort by the Knowledge Exchange Institute, Mahidol University International College and Dr. John Loike, researcher and faculty at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Touro College. The program’s primary objective is to help students understand how culture and religion influence controversial issues related to science research and the application of science in medicine and biomedical technologies. Topics include emerging infections, the integration of Western and Eastern medicine, medical tourism, stem cell research, organ transplantation, informed consent, malnutrition, abortion, public health, genetic testing, and reproductive medicine.
BioCEP is open to both students and faculty. Students enroll in a Cross-Cultural Bioethics course (6 credits) offered in Bangkok, Thailand during the summer. The curriculum combines lectures, seminars and professional visits. Discussions are led by professors and guest speakers from Columbia University, visiting faculty from the USA, Mahidol University, Thai Ministry of Health and/or various organizations in Thailand.
Issues in medicine and bioethics are becoming cross-cultural as more countries debate genetic engineering, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, sex selection, abortion, designer babies, euthanasia, end of life and scientific research funding. Ethics education develops the knowledge and strategic thinking skills needed to address common dilemmas that exist today and in the future as new bio-technologies emerge.