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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1
Dental ethics education: A responsibility of an academician

Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication3-Mar-2016

How to cite this article:
Malathi N. Dental ethics education: A responsibility of an academician. J Educ Ethics Dent 2015;5:1

How to cite this URL:
Malathi N. Dental ethics education: A responsibility of an academician. J Educ Ethics Dent [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Dec 8];5:1. Available from: https://www.jeed.in/text.asp?2015/5/1/1/178015

Dental professionals are answerable to their patients and the community as a whole and are responsible for any misconduct or malpractice. Bioethics refers to the application of ethical principles in situations that are common to health-care professionals. Although bioethics is an emergent field; the concept is as old as the Hippocratic Oath, a code of dental ethics that is stated by the American Dental Association (ADA). Ethics in dentistry can be divided into two categories, namely professional ethics and research ethics. The basic principles of ethics in dental profession include patient economy, non-maleficence, beneficence, justice, and veracity. Research is an integral part of any profession hence every dental institution should constitute an Institutional Ethical Committee/Institutional Review Board to govern the ethical principles involved in dental research.

Regulatory boards have laid down specific rules of conduct relating to the profession to oversee the practice of health-care professionals and for responsible conduct of research. Although several ethical guidelines have been laid down, ethical misconduct and dilemma in decision-making continues to prevail in our country due to the lack of awareness. [1],[2]

Ethical issues in publication is yet another challenge. One of the major problems encountered in the preparation of a manuscript is plagiarism. Though several softwares are available online to detect the same, lack of awareness and knowledge often leads to copyright and fraudulent issues. Hence, this concept should be taught to the undergraduates through lectures and workshops. In addition, every institution should constitute a regulatory board to oversee plagiarism in every manuscript being published in various national and international journals.

In this context, ethics education should be recognized to serve as a solution for professional challenges and to avoid ethical misconduct. Dental ethics education should be an integral aspect of training dental professionals at the undergraduate level. Dental students pursuing research can be advised to undergo training in the area of research, ethics and methodology. Several online courses such as CITI India program (www.citiprogram.org) are available for the same. In addition, the courses in dental ethics offered by Continuing Dental Education Programs can be taken up by the dental professionals to gain knowledge for the ethical clinical practice.

Thus, dental education should instill ethical values in students modeled by the institution so that the future of dentistry in India would be upheld. The inclusion of guidelines for ethics in dentistry and research in detail in the curriculum for undergraduate dental students is the need of the hour. The curriculum should be formulated in a way that it cultivates an introspective orientation to the dental profession. [3] This can be done through integrated teaching such as case-based lectures. Every dentist-scientist should not only follow the ethical principles but also set himself/herself as an epitome to the next generation so that no ethical misconduct occurs in the future.

   References Top

Sabarinath B, Sivapathasundharam B. Ethics in dentistry. J Educ Ethics Dent 2011;1:24-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  
Deolia SG, Prasad K, Chhabra KG, Kalyanpur R, Kalghatgi S. An insight into research ethics among dental professionals in a dental institute, India- A pilot study. J Clin Diagn Res 2014;8:ZC11-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
Bertolami CN. Why our ethics curricula don′t work. J Dent Educ 2004;68:414-25.  Back to cited text no. 3

Correspondence Address:
Narasimhan Malathi
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7761.178015

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