HEC Forum 26 (4):325-341 (2014)

Abstract
One of the challenges of modern healthcare ethics practice is the navigation of boundaries. Practicing healthcare ethicists in the performance of their role must navigate meanings, choices, decisions and actions embedded in complex cultural and social relationships amongst diverse individuals. In light of the evolving state of modern healthcare ethics practice and the recent move toward professionalization via certification, understanding boundary navigation in healthcare ethics practice is critical. Because healthcare ethics is endowed with many boundaries which often delineate concerns about professional expertise and authority, epistemological reflection on the relationship between theory and practice points toward the social context as relevant to the conceptualization of boundaries. The skills of social scientists may prove helpful to provide data and insights into the conceptualization and navigation of clinical ethics qua profession. Empirical ethics research, which combines empirical description (usually social scientific) with normative-ethical analysis and reflection, is a way forward as we engage and reflect upon issues which have implications for practice standards and professionalization of the role. This requires cooperative engagement of the descriptive and normative disciplines to explore our understandings of boundaries in healthcare ethics practice. This will contribute to the ongoing reflection not only as we envision the professional role but to ensure that it is enacted in practice
Keywords Boundaries  Clinical Ethics  Empirical Ethics  Healthcare ethics practice  Professionalization
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DOI 10.1007/s10730-014-9240-x
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Empirical Ethics, Context-Sensitivity, and Contextualism.Albert Musschenga - 2005 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (5):467 – 490.

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