Communication and Conflict Management Training for Clinical Bioethics Committees Content Type Journal Article Pages 341-349 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9116-7 Authors Lauren M. Edelstein, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Howard County General Hospital 5755 Cedar Lane Columbia MD 21044 USA Evan G. DeRenzo, Washington Hospital Center Center for Ethics 110 Irving St Washington, D.C. NW 20010 USA Elizabeth Waetzig, Change Matrix Inc. 485 Maylin St. Pasadena CA 91105 USA Craig Zelizer, Georgetown University Department of Government 3240 Prospect St. Washington, D.C. NW 20057 USA Nneka O. (...) Mokwunye, Washington Hospital Center Center for Ethics 110 Irving St Washington, D.C. NW 20010 USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 4. (shrink)
Ethics rounds in clinical ethics have already taken hold in multiple venues. There are “sit-down rounds,” which usually consist of a bioethicist setting a specific, prescheduled time aside for residents and/or others to bring a case or two for discussion with the bioethicist. Another kind of rounds that occurs on an ad hoc or infrequent basis is to have either a staff or outside bioethicist give hospital-wide and/or departmental “grand rounds.” Grand rounds is a traditional educational format in medicine and (...) adding bioethics to the topics covered in grand rounds is an important means of elevating ethical awareness within a department or throughout a healthcare organization. Newer is the rounding practice of adding a bioethicist to other established rounding processes, such as case management and utilization review rounds. All of these kinds of ethics rounds are important opportunities to elevate the level of moral discourse within a healthcare setting and are becoming part and parcel of any full-service hospital bioethics program. (shrink)
This paper presents the behavioral interview model that we developed to formalize our hiring practices when we, most recently, needed to hire a new clinical ethicist to join our staff at the Center for Ethics at Washington Hospital Center.
As research into Alzheimer's disease and other dementing disorders becomes more complex, risky, invasive, and commonplace, the need intensifies for discussion of the ethics of involving persons with dementia in research, specifically research of greater than minimal risk and of no expected direct benefit to the subject. Reviewing such studies pushes our traditional analysis tools to their limits. Simply balancing and prioritizing the basic ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice that serves us well in reviewing the vast (...) majority of studies is inadequate when reviewing research of such ethical complexities as studies with marked risks and no expectation of direct benefit to subjects unable to consent or withdraw. Moving up to the level of theory, placing these principles within the commonly applied frameworks of consequentialism, deontology, or virtue ethics bring us no closer to reducing the tensions such research creates between upholding individual autonomy and advancing society's need to learn how to treat and cure these devastating diseases. What is needed is the introduction of more contemporary moral analyses. Specifically, we need to become more inclusive of the diversity of values perspectives of our general citizenry. In more theoretical terms, we ought to elevate to a more central role a communitarian perspective and a feminist ethics emphasis on relationships and context as we rush to keep in step, ethically, with this rapidly expanding area of medical inquiry. (shrink)
Curbside ethics consultations occur when an ethics consultant provides guidance to a party who seeks assistance over ethical concerns in a case, without the consultant involving other stakeholders, conducting his or her own comprehensive review of the case, or writing a chart note. Some have argued that curbside consultation is problematic because the consultant, in focusing on a single narrative offered by the party seeking advice, necessarily fails to account for the full range of moral perspectives. Their concern is that (...) any guidance offered by the ethics consultant will privilege and empower one party’s viewpoint over—and to the exclusion of—other stakeholders. This could lead to serious harms, such as the ethicist being reduced to a means to an end for a clinician seeking to achieve his or her own preferred outcome, the ethicist denying the broader array of stakeholders input in the process, or the ethicist providing wrongheaded or biased advice, posing dangers to the ethical quality of decision-making. Although these concerns are important and must be addressed, we suggest that they are manageable. This paper proposes using conflict coaching, a practice developed within the discipline of conflict management, to mitigate the risks posed by curbside consultation, and thereby create new spaces for moral discourse in the care of patients. Thinking of curbside consultations as an opportunity for clinical ethics conflict coaching can more fully integrate ethics committee members into the daily ethics of patient care and reduce the frequency of ethically harmful outcomes. (shrink)