LGBT-related educational contents and challenges in bioethics subjects in Japanese medical and nursing departments

Mari Tsuruwaka


Background and objectives: In Japan, there are delays in the LGBT anti-discrimination law and ensuring human rights. In particular, inadequate response by medical field has been pointed out, and medical education is required not only from the health care needs but also from human rights. This study clarifies the educational contents and challenges related to LGBT in the bioethics subjects in the faculty of medicine and nursing and provides suggestions as one of diversity education.

Methods: An anonymous self-administered survey was conducted on the educators in charge of bioethics subjects at 364 universities (81 medical schools and 283 nursing schools). Selective items were simply tabulated, and free descriptions were categorized and analyzed based on commonalities.

Results: The response rate was 27.2% (faculty of medicine 29.7%, faculty of nursing 26.5%). “Incorporated,” (33.3%) “want to incorporate,” (21.2%) and “not incorporated” (45.4%) the content related to LGBT into the class. Many of the reasons for adopting it were “related to the way of life and dignity” and “need proper knowledge and understanding of those who identify as LGBT for health care providers.” The contents of education were mostly “definition of words,” “diversity of sexuality,” and “discrimination and prejudice.” Educational challenges included educational consideration for the parties concerned, securing of hours, coordination with other subjects, and educator’s ability.

Conclusions: In bioethics subjects, it was suggested that the education is not limited to the improvement of clinical abilities, but that students consider the power structure and institutional inequality of society, notice their own preconceptions, and turn one's thoughts inward.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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