David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Academic Ethics 5 (2-4):207-216 (2007)
There is a growing interest in ethical competence-building within nursing and health care practising. This tendency is accompanied by a remarkable growth of ethical guidelines. Ethical demands have also been laid down in laws. Present-day practitioners and researchers in health care are thereby left in a virtual cross-fire of various legislations, codes, and recommendations, all intended to guide behaviour. The aim of this paper was to investigate the role of ethical guidelines in the process of ethical competence-building within health care practice and medical research. A conceptual and critical philosophical analysis of some paragraphs of the Helsinki Declaration and of relevant literature was performed. Three major problems related to ethical guidelines were identified, namely, the interpretation problem (there is always a gap between the rule and the practice, which implies that ethical competence is needed for those who are to implement the guidelines); the multiplicity problem (the great number of codes, declarations, and laws might pull in different directions, which may confuse the health care providers who are to follow them); and the legalisation problem (ethics concerns may take on a legal form, where ethical reflection is replaced by a procedure of legal interpretations). Virtue ethics might be an alternative to a rule based approach. This position, however, can turn ethics into a tacit knowledge, leading to poorly reflected and inconsistent ethical decisions. Ethical competence must consist of both being (virtues) and doing (rules and principles), but also of knowing (critical reflection), and therefore a communicative based model is suggested.
|Keywords||codes communication ethical competence ethics regulation professionalism virtues|
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References found in this work BETA
Tom L. Beauchamp (2009). Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Iris Marion Young (2000). Inclusion and Democracy. Oxford University Press.
Justin Oakley (2001). Virtue Ethics and Professional Roles. Cambridge University Press.
Kenneth Kipnis (2006). A Defense of Unqualified Medical Confidentiality. American Journal of Bioethics 6 (2):7 – 18.
Baruch A. Brody (1998). The Ethics of Biomedical Research: An International Perspective. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Petteri Niemi (forthcoming). Six Challenges for Ethical Conduct in Science. Science and Engineering Ethics:1-19.
A. T. Höglund, G. Helgesson & S. Eriksson (2010). Ethical Dilemmas and Ethical Competence in the Daily Work of Research Nurses. Health Care Analysis 18 (3):239-251.
Merryn Elizabeth Ekberg (forthcoming). Exploring the Design, Delivery and Content of a ‘Bioethics for the Biosciences’ Module: An Empirical Study. Journal of Academic Ethics:1-12.
Anna Julie Rasmussen & Mette Ebbesen (2014). Why Should Nanoscience Students Be Taught to Be Ethically Competent? Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (4):1065-1077.
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