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Were the "Pioneer" Clinical Ethics Consultants "Outsiders"? For Them, Was "Critical Distance" That Critical?

08:00 EDT 1st June 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Were the "Pioneer" Clinical Ethics Consultants "Outsiders"? For Them, Was "Critical Distance" That Critical?"

"Clinical ethics consultants" have been practicing in the United States for about 50 years. Most of the earliest consultants-the "pioneers"-were "outsiders" when they first appeared at patients' bedsides and in the clinic. However, if they were outsiders initially, they acclimated to the clinical setting and became "insiders" very quickly. Moreover, there was some tension between traditional academics and those doing applied ethics about whether there was sufficient "critical distance" for appropriate reflection about the complex medical ethics dilemmas of the day if one were involved in the decision making. Again, the pioneers deflected concerns by identifying and instituting safeguards to assure professional objectivity in clinical ethics consultation services. One might suggest that in moving inside and establishing normative practices, the pioneer clinical ethics consultants anticipated adoption of their routines and professionalization of the field.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The American journal of bioethics : AJOB
ISSN: 1536-0075
Pages: 34-44

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Services provided by an individual ethicist (ETHICISTS) or an ethics team or committee (ETHICS COMMITTEES, CLINICAL) to address the ethical issues involved in a specific clinical case. The central purpose is to improve the process and outcomes of patients' care by helping to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical problems.

A formal process of examination of patient care or research proposals for conformity with ethical standards. The review is usually conducted by an organized clinical or research ethics committee (CLINICAL ETHICS COMMITTEES or RESEARCH ETHICS COMMITTEES), sometimes by a subset of such a committee, an ad hoc group, or an individual ethicist (ETHICISTS).

Hospital or other institutional ethics committees established to consider the ethical dimensions of patient care. Distinguish from ETHICS COMMITTEES, RESEARCH, which are established to monitor the welfare of patients or healthy volunteers participating in research studies.

Committees established by professional societies, health facilities, or other institutions to consider decisions that have bioethical implications. The role of these committees may include consultation, education, mediation, and/or review of policies and practices. Committees that consider the ethical dimensions of patient care are ETHICS COMMITTEES, CLINICAL; committees established to protect the welfare of research subjects are ETHICS COMMITTEES, RESEARCH.

An approach to ethics that focuses on theories of the importance of general principles such as respect for autonomy, beneficence/nonmaleficence, and justice.

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