Medical History and Ethics

Our department provides education to students on issues such as the role of physician, the values of human beings, the values of the medical profession, the ethical obligations of the physician in order to train good physicians and to prepare students for the new ethical obligations created by the rapidly developing medical science and technology. Ethical sensitivity of future physicians is developed by enabling the ethical aspects of decisions regarding contemporary biomedical ethics issues/problems to be realized through Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Clinical Ethics trainings.

With the History of Medicine education, students will be able to establish the relationship between the emergence of civilizations and the development of their profession; by realizing the relationship of human needs with the structure, culture, habits, and geography of societies, it will be possible for them to comprehend the evolution of their profession and develop a professional identity. The objectives of the training are to educate those who are aware of the values of the profession, can understand the changes in the identities and values of the profession, and its members who realize the effect of social, cultural, and religious factors on professional practices, to adopt scientific thought and critical inquiring approach as the only guide in the field of the profession, as well as the history of the profession current scientific knowledge. It is to train physicians who have assimilated that it is a professional responsibility to obtain information about and have gained critical thinking skills.

CourseCompulsory/ElectiveTerm SemesterDescriptionCourse Hour
History of Medicine Compulsory 11The evolution of medicine-Prehistoric medicine; Medicine in Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China and others; Mythological Greek Medicine; Hippocratic Greek Medicine; Medieval European Medicine; Medieval Islamic Medicine; Famous Physicians of Islamic Medicine; Renaissance Medicine: Europe between 14th and 16th centuries; 17th and 19th centuries in Europe; Medicine in the Ancient Turks and Anatolian Seljuks, Ottoman Medicine between the 14th and 15th centuries; Ottoman Medicine between the 16th and 17th centuries; Ottoman Medicine between the 18th and 19th centuries; Medical Education in Ottoman Empire (1827-1933); Medicine in Republican Era.16
Introduction to Medical EthicsCompulsory 13The definition of ethics, its functions, meaning, importance and place in medicine; Ethical values, values of medicine; The virtues of medicine, the virtues of the good physician; Theories of medical ethics; Introduction to the principles of medical ethics: Nonmaleficence (do no harm), beneficence (do good), respect for persons/autonomy and justice; The relationship between ethics, law and morality; The concept of rights and an introduction to ethical rights.8
Medical Ethics in TelevisionElective1FallPhysician identity and virtues of medicine such as compassion, respect, responsibility, and integrity through various physician representations in TV series/films; Discussing the basic principles of medical ethics and the ethical dimension of cases in concrete case examples.28
Art and BioethicsCompulsory22 ve 4Discussing bioethical issues in the arts 4
Medical EthicsCompulsory38Medical ethics education; Philosophical foundations of medical ethics: ethical theory, the relationship between ethical principles and rules, principles of medical ethics (nonmaleficence, beneficence , respect for persons/autonomy and justice); Ethical issues related to the exchange of information: Informed consent, telling the truth, confidentiality, secrecy and disclosure; Ethical teachings: withholding and withdrawing treatments, ordinary and extraordinary treatments, the rule of double effect; Ethical issues at the beginning of life: Family planning, abortion, artificial insemination (AI), new reproductive techniques; Ethical issues in advanced medical technologies: Bioethics, genetics, cloning, artificial intellegence; Ethical issues at the end-of-life: Treatment initiation and discontinuation, Right to die, assisted suicide, euthanasia; Justice in medicine: Fair sharing of scarce resources, Ethics in health care research: 'Research Ethics', Ethical Rights: Patient and physician rights and responsibilities, “Deontology”; Clinical ethics; Ethical decision-making processes: (a) Indications for medical intervention, (b) Patient's preferences, (c) Quality of life, and ( d) Identifying environmental factors; Recognizing and solving the ethical problem; Application: Group work on problem solving with a classic ethical case example.22
Clinical Ethics ClerkshipCompulsory 4Pediatrics ClerkshipCase discussions on common ethical issues in pediatrics: The four-topics approach in clinical ethical decision making.5
Clinical Ethics ClerkshipCompulsory 4General Surgery ClerkshipCase discussions on common ethical issues in general surgery: The four-topics approach in clinical ethical decision making.5
Clinical Ethics ClerkshipCompulsory4İnternal Diseases ClerkshipCase discussions on common ethical issues in internal diseases: The four-topics approach in clinical ethical decision making.3
Clinical Ethics ClerkshipCompulsory4Gynecology and Obstetrics ClerkshipCase discussions on common ethical issues in gynecology and obstetrics: The four-topics approach in clinical ethical decision making.3

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Good practice of medicine; In order for both healthcare professionals and patients to be satisfied with these practices, it is extremely important for patients to be aware of their rights and to protect their rights when necessary. Under the guidance of faculty members of our department, the "Hospital Ethics Committee" of our faculty continues its activities to raise awareness of health workers, patients and their relatives about their rights, and to develop health policies belonging to the institution. "Clinical Research Ethics Committee", "Non-Interventional Clinical Research Ethics Committee" and "Experimental Animals Local Ethics Committee" and "Health Sciences University Derince Training and Research Hospital Clinical Research Ethics Committee" aiming to ensure that studies on humans and animals comply with high scientific and ethical standards. Board” activities are carried out with the guidance and participation of our faculty members. These activities include ensuring the protection of animal rights as well as informing researchers of their ethical obligations, advising the ethical design and conduct of research, and ensuring the protection of the rights of patients and healthy volunteers participating in research.


Department of History of Medicine and Ethics at Kocaeli University School of Medicine was established in 1995 and Medical Ethics Program for undergraduate medical education was started. This year also the Research Ethics Committee was established and our department’s first certificate course was prepared to train the Committee’s members. The Research Ethics Committee was evaluating all research projects and even all ethical conflicts until the establishment of Local Ethics Committee for Animal Experimentation, Local Ethics Committee for Clinical Trials, Institutional Ethics Committee for Non-Interventional Studies, University Ethics Committee, and Hospital Ethics Committee.

Post graduate training programs have also been prepared and in 1999, we accepted first physician fellow by Medical Specialist Training Exam (TUS) and graduated him in 2002. In 2002, Medical Specialist Training Regulation was amended and medical specialist training in the field of Medical History and Ethics was removed.

"History of Medicine and Ethics Master Degree Program", which had already started its preparations, accepted its first students in 2002-2003 academic year, and until now five “Master’s Degree of History of Medicine and Ethics” has graduated from the program.

From the "History of Medicine and Ethics PhD Program", which accepted first students in 2004-2005 academic year, four PhD student have graduated from the program.

Master’s Degree Students and Alumni:

Years NameThesis
2015-2018 Elif Çalışkan Ethical Assessment of Paediatric Oncology Patients’ Definitions for Good Physician and Good Nurse
2015-2018 Merve MergenAn analysis of the vulnerability concept in bioethics and evaluation of its appropriateness for LGBT individuals
2012-2015Meral KavakEvaluation of the opinions of the dentists in Turkey on the attributes of A good dentist
2002-2005Necla AktanThe inspection of dentist's knowledge, attitude and behavior about informed consent
2002-2005Aslıhan AkpınarThe correlation between attitudes of intensive care physicians and nurses towards allocation of intensive care resources and contemporary theories of justice

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PhD Students and Alumni

Years NameThesis
2020- in progressPeri Arbak
2020- in progressDemet Yaman Aydoğan
2020- in progressSeçil Özçiftçi
2020- in progress Meltem Demir The Moral Distress of Primary Helthcare Professionals in the Global Epidemic
2018- in progress Merve Mergen Student’ perceptions of role modeling in their identity/value formation during medical education: Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine
2018- in progress Yasemin Koçer Tulgar The evaluation of infectious diseases and clinical microbiology specialist’ perspectives on ethical problems in Covid-19 pandemic
2018- in progress Deniz Birtan Ethical Issues Encountered in Organ Transplantation of Syrian Refugees/Asylum Seekers: A Qualitative Study from Turkey
2018- in progress Eda Yirmibeşoğlu Erkal Preferences and expectations of patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer regarding The extent of information they receive towards their treatment decisions
2018- in progress Gülten Çevik Nasırlıer Ethical issues neonatologists confront for their medical decisions concerning extremely preterm infants
2018- in progress Belgin Babadağlı The attitudes of pregnant women regarding termination of pregnancy in case of a serious congenital anomaly of the baby
2015-2019 Pervin ŞahinerEvaluation of informed consent in in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures
2011-2016Cebrail YılmazInformed consent for adolescent in surgical treatment
2005-2010Aslıhan AkpınarEthics in using genetic information: Attitudes and preferences of physicians and testees
2004-2009Müesser ÖzcanAttitudes of physicians and nurses towards end of life decisions in neonatal intense care units
2004-2009Rahime Aydın ErPsychiatric patients' competence to decision making treatment

Medical Specialist Training Program Alumni:

Years NameThesis
1999-2002Tolga GüvenThe use of written disclosure for informing patients: A study with benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer patients


The spread of medical practices that protect human values, rights, and dignity in accordance with the historical purpose of medicine; Conducting scientific research that does not harm human dignity, rights, and volunteering; Preventing the public's trust in medicine/medicine from being shaken; To contribute to the provision of education and training in accordance with academic ethics, the preservation of high ethical values during medical practices; The establishment of ethical attitudes and behaviors by increasing the quality of health services; The association of quality health service delivery with ethics; The establishment of the relationship between the scientific and human aspects of medicine considered our department's mission.


To be a counseling center that can provide services on all issues related to health care ethics, and to establish a training center (ethics institute) that can provide undergraduate and graduate ethics education in all human-related fields.

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Research Opportunities:

The library of our department provides some of the national resources in our area, and the library in our university provides access to a substantial amount of national and international resources.

As a multidisciplinary field, in our department, which focuses on all health professions in the context of biomedical ethics, interdisciplinary research has been conducted and continues to be conducted on the education and practices of other health professions such as nursing, midwifery, and dentistry.

In addition, faculty members of our department are involved in the formation of the academic ethics committee, hospital ethics committee and ethics consultation services which are among the first ones in Turkey and they serve as members and consultants. These could be considered research opportunities in the context of academic ethics, clinical ethics, and ethics consultancy.

All faculty members in our department are members of research ethics committees such as animal experimentation, clinical trials, and non-interventional studies. Hence, conducting research in the field of research ethics is highly possible.

Research Subjects and Projects:

  • Medical folklore in Turkey
  • Refakatçies (Patient’s companions) in Turkey
  • Ethics education for health care professionals
  • Ethics sensitivity and awareness in health care professionals
  • History of psychiatry in Turkey
  • History of fighting against epidemic diseases
  • Ethical issues at the end of life
  • The concept of vulnerability in bioethics
  • LGBT issues
  • Ethical approaches in global epidemics
  • Ethical issues encountered in organ transplants of Syrian refugees/asylum seekers
  • Informed consent in IVF applications
  • Ethical issues regarding termination of pregnancy
  • Moral stress experienced by healthcare professionals
  • Preferences and expectations of cancer patients regarding information and treatment decisions
  • Ethics in the use of genetic information
  • Decision-making competence
  • The effect of role models on professional identity in medicine
  • History of Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine

Postgraduate Education:

- Virt2ue Trainings (European Union’s Horizon 2020 Science with and for Society work program, part of the Research and Innovation program)

- Ethics Education in Residency Programs

  • Department of Internal Diseases
  • Department of Psychiatry and Mental Disorders
  • Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation
  • Department of Paediatrics and Child Health


Academic Staff:

Prof.Dr.Nermin ERSOY  (Head of the Department)


Doç.Dr.Rahime AYDIN ER

Doç.Dr. Aslıhan AKPINAR

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