Ethics Education for Healthcare Professionals in the Era of ChatGPT and Other Large Language Models: Do We Still Need It?

Am J Bioeth. 2023 Oct;23(10):17-27. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2023.2233358. Epub 2023 Jul 24.


In this paper, we contend with whether we still need traditional ethics education as part of healthcare professional training given the abilities of chatGPT (generative pre-trained transformer) and other large language models (LLM). We reflect on common programmatic goals to assess the current strengths and limitations of LLMs in helping to build ethics competencies among future clinicians. Through an actual case analysis, we highlight areas in which chatGPT and other LLMs are conducive to common bioethics education goals. We also comment on where such technologies remain an imperfect substitute for human-led ethics teaching and learning. Finally, we conclude that the relative strengths of chatGPT warrant its consideration as a teaching and learning tool in ethics education in ways that account for current limitations and build in flexibility as the technology evolves.

Keywords: bioethics; chatGPT; healthcare professionals; medical education.