Method: A national survey was conducted among Malaysian medical schools between January and March 2019. One representative from each medical school was invited to respond to the survey. Respondents were faculty members involved in teaching and assessment of bioethics in their medical schools, or/and in developing and coordinating bioethics curriculum. Descriptive statistics were reported.
Findings: Out of 30 medical schools, 11 completed and returned the survey (overall response rate = 36.7%). Of these 11 schools, 6/10 (60%) were from public institutions while 5/20 (25%) were from private institutions. All except 1 school implemented a formal bioethics curriculum. A wide range of bioethics topics are currently taught in the medical programme. The majority involved in teaching bioethics were health care professionals (mainly clinicians), followed by lawyers. Lecture and attendance, respectively, are the most common teaching and assessment method. Major barriers to the implementation of bioethics education included limited qualified teaching staff (6/11 = 54.5%), no established curriculum to follow (5/11 = 45.5%), limited financial resources to hire qualified staff (4/11 = 36.4%), and no consensus among faculty members (4/11 = 36.4%).
Conclusion: Bioethics education in Malaysia is relatively new and mostly limited by a shortage of scholars in bioethics. National support and institutional collaboration in providing bioethics training is the key to enhance the quality of bioethics education.