When Do Pediatricians Call the Ethics Consultation Service? Impact of Clinical Experience and Formal Ethics Training

AJOB Empirical Bioethics 11 (2):83-90 (2020)
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Background: Previous research shows that pediatricians inconsistently utilize the ethics consultation service (ECS). Methods: Pediatricians in two suburban, Midwestern academic hospitals were asked to reflect on their ethics training and utilization of ECS via an anonymous, electronic survey distributed in 2017 and 2018, and analyzed in 2018. Participants reported their clinical experience, exposure to formal and informal ethics training, use of formal and informal ethics consultations, and potential barriers to formal consultation. Results: Less experienced pediatricians were more likely to utilize formal ethics consultation and more likely to have formal ethics training. The most commonly reported reasons not to pursue formal ECS consultation were inconvenience and self-reported expertise in pediatric ethics. Conclusions: These results inform ongoing discussions about ethics consultation among pediatricians and the role of formal ethics training in both undergraduate and graduate medical education.



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Author Profiles

Mark Christopher Navin
Oakland University
Jason Adam Wasserman
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine