Toward a methodology for the ethical analysis of clinical practice

The scope of this essay is to introduce and explain the methodology underlying the Lanza Foundation Protocol for the analysis of clinical cases. The essay is divided in three parts. Part one examines the Protocol's methodology within the whole evolutionary framework of argumentation in bioethics. Particular attention is given to the most significant methodologies developed in European bioethics. Part two describes the system of argumentation which serves as a frame for both approaches, namely, the normative and the hermeneutical. Finally, the third part presents in an analytic fashion the operations which define the Protocol itself. The Protocol is the result of an interdisciplinary effort and it provides a detailed grid for analyzing and tackling the ethical components of clinical cases. The Protocol is primarily directed toward Ethics Committees in their consulting activity, yet it has been proven of considerable importance at an educational level also, particular in continuing education programs for health care professionals
Keywords bioethics education  clinical bioethics  clinical consultations  clinical ethics committees  ethical judgement  ethical methodology  European approach to bioethics  practical rationality
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