Trauma Informed Ethics Consultation

American Journal of Bioethics 22 (5):45-57 (2022)
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We argue for the addition of trauma informed awareness, training, and skill in clinical ethics consultation by proposing a novel framework for Trauma Informed Ethics Consultation (TIEC). This approach expands on the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) framework for, and key insights from feminist approaches to, ethics consultation, and the literature on trauma informed care (TIC). TIEC keeps ethics consultation in line with the provision of TIC in other clinical settings. Most crucially, TIEC (like TIC) is systematically sensitive to culture, history, difference, power, social exclusion, oppression, and marginalization. By engaging a neonatal intensive care ethics consult example, we define our TIEC approach and illustrate its application. Through TIEC we argue it is the role of ethics consultants to not only hold open moral spaces, but to furnish them in morally habitable ways for all stakeholders involved in the ethics consultation process, including patients, surrogates, and practitioners.



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Elizabeth Lanphier
Cincinnati Children's Hospital