Examining Ethics in Practice: health service professionals' evaluations of in-hospital ethics seminars

Nursing Ethics 9 (5):508-521 (2002)
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This article reviews practitioners’ evaluations of in-hospital ethics seminars. A qualitative study included 11 innovative in-hospital ethics seminars, preceded and followed by interviews with most participants. The settings were obstetric, neonatal and haematology units in a teaching hospital and a district general hospital in England. Fifty-six health service staff in obstetric, neonatal, haematology, and related community and management services participated; 12 attended two seminars, giving a total of 68 attendances and 59 follow-up evaluation interviews. The 11 seminars facilitated by an ethicist addressed the key local concerns of staff about the social and ethical consequences of advances in genetics and their impact on professional policies and practice. Seminar agendas were drawn from prior interviews with 70 staff members. During evaluation interviews, participants commented on general aspects that they had enjoyed, how the sessions could be improved, timing, the mix of participants, the quality of the facilitation, whether sessions should be more challenging, after-effects of sessions, and interest in attending seminars and contacting the ethicist in future. Participants valued the increased interprofessional understanding and coherent discussion of many pressing issues that addressed important though seldom discussed ethical questions. The seminars worked well in the different hospitals and specialties



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