How should medical services be distributed within society? Who should pay for them? Is it right that large amounts should be spent on sophisticated technology and expensive operations, or would the resources be better employed in, for instance, less costly preventive measures? These and others are the questions addreses in this book. Norman Daniels examines some of the dilemmas thrown up by conflicting demands for medical attention, and goes on to advance a theory of justice in the distribution of (...) class='Hi'>healthcare. The central argument is that healthcare, both preventive and acute, has a crucial effect on equality of opportunity, and that a principle guaranteeing equality of opportunity must underly the distribution of health-care services. Access to care, preventive measures, treatment of the elderly, and the obligations of doctors and medical administrations are fully discussed, and the theory is shown to underwrite various practical policies in the area. (shrink)
This paper firstly distinguishes between principles of “global justice” that apply the same anywhere and everywhere – Tännsjö’s utilitarianism, egalitarianism, prioritarianism and such like – and principles of “local justice” that apply within the specific sphere of health-care. Sometimes the latter might just be a special case of the former – but not always. Secondly, it discusses reasons, many psychological in nature, why physicians might devote excessive resources to prolonging life pointlessly, showing once again that those reasons might (...) themselves be morally significant. (shrink)
Ethics consultation has become an integral part of the fabric of U.S. healthcare delivery. This article summarizes the second edition of the Core Competencies for HealthCare Ethics Consultation report of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. The core knowledge and skills competencies identified in the first edition of Core Competencies have been adopted by various ethics consultation services and education programs, providing evidence of their endorsement as healthcare ethics consultation standards. (...) This revised report was prompted by thinking in the field that has evolved since the original report. Patients, family members, and healthcare providers who encounter ethical questions or concerns that ethics consultants could help address deserve access to efficient, effective, and accountable HCEC services. All individuals providing such services should be held to the standards of competence and quality described in the revised report. (shrink)
Scenarios involving the introduction of artificially intelligent (AI) assistive technologies in healthcare practices raise several ethical issues. In this paper, I discuss four objections to introducing AI assistive technologies in healthcare practices as replacements of human care. I analyse them as demands for felt care, good care, private care, and real care. I argue that although these objections cannot stand as good reasons for a general and a priori rejection (...) of AI assistive technologies as such or as replacements of human care, they demand us to clarify what is at stake, to develop more comprehensive criteria for good care, and to rethink existing practices of care. In response to these challenges, I propose a (modified) capabilities approach to care and emphasize the inherent social dimension of care. I also discuss the demand for real care by introducing the ‘Care Experience Machine’ thought experiment. I conclude that if we set the standards of care too high when evaluating the introduction of AI assistive technologies in healthcare, we have to reject many of our existing, low-tech healthcare practices. (shrink)
Virtually all activities of healthcare are motivated at some level by hope. Patients hope for a cure; for relief from pain; for a return home. Physicians hope to prevent illness in their patients; to make the correct diagnosis when illness presents itself; that their prescribed treatments will be effective. Researchers hope to learn more about the causes of illness; to discover new and more effective treatments; to understand how treatments work. Ultimately, all who work in health (...)care hope to offer their patients hope. In this paper, I offer a brief analysis of hope, considering the definitions of Hobbes, Locke, Hume and Thomas Aquinas. I then differentiate shallow and deep hope and show how hope in healthcare can remain shallow. Next, I explore what a philosophy of deep hope in healthcare might look like, drawing important points from Ernst Bloch and Gabriel Marcel. Finally, I suggest some implications of this philosophy of hope for patients, physicians, and researchers. (shrink)
Historically associated with military service, conscientious objection has become a significant phenomenon in healthcare. Mark Wicclair offers a comprehensive ethical analysis of conscientious objection in three representative healthcare professions: medicine, nursing and pharmacy. He critically examines two extreme positions: the 'incompatibility thesis', that it is contrary to the professional obligations of practitioners to refuse provision of any service within the scope of their professional competence; and 'conscience absolutism', that they should be exempted from performing (...) any action contrary to their conscience. He argues for a compromise approach that accommodates conscience-based refusals within the limits of specified ethical constraints. He also explores conscientious objection by students in each of the three professions, discusses conscience protection legislation and conscience-based refusals by pharmacies and hospitals, and analyzes several cases. His book is a valuable resource for scholars, professionals, trainees, students, and anyone interested in this increasingly important aspect of healthcare. (shrink)
Contemporary bioethics recognizes the importance of the culture in shaping ethical issues, yet in practice, a process for ethical analysis and decision making is rarely adjusted to the culture and ethnicity of involved parties. This is of a particular concern in a healthcare system that is caring for a growing Aboriginal population. We raise the possibility of constructing a bioethics grounded in traditional Aboriginal knowledge. As an example of an element of traditional knowledge that contains strong ethical (...) guidance, we present the story of the Gifts of the Seven Grandfathers. We note a resemblance of this Ojibway teaching to virtue ethics in European traditions, but we suggest that there are also important differences in how these two traditions are currently presented. We hope that further engagement with a variety of indigenous moral teachings and traditions could improve healthcare involving Aboriginal patients and communities, and enrich the discipline of bioethics. (shrink)
Conscience in Reproductive HealthCare responds to the growing worldwide trend of healthcare professionals conscientiously refusing to provide abortions and similar reproductive health services in countries where these services are legal and professionally accepted. Carolyn McLeod argues that conscientious objectors in healthcare should prioritize the interests of patients in receiving care over their own interest in acting on their conscience. She defends this "prioritizing approach" to conscientious objection over the more (...) popular "compromise approach" without downplaying the importance of healthcare professionals having a conscience or the moral complexity of their conscientious refusals. McLeod's central argument is that healthcare professionals who are gatekeepers of services such as abortions are fiduciaries for their patients and for the public they are licensed to serve. As such, they owe a duty of loyalty to these beneficiaries and should give primacy to their beneficiaries' interests in accessing care. This conclusion is informed by what McLeod believes is morally at stake for the main parties to the conflicts generated by conscientious refusals: the objector and the patient. What is at stake, according to McLeod, depends on the relevant socio-political context, but typically includes the objector's integrity and the patient's interest in avoiding harm. (shrink)
This is a short reply to Professor Reichlin’s comment on my book Setting Health-Care Priorities. What Ethical Theories Tell Us. The version of prioritarianism I rely on in the book is defended as the most plausible one. The general claim that there is convergence between all plausible theories on distributive justice is also defended with regard to assisted reproduction, disability, and enhancement.
To better understand the available publications addressing ethical issues in rural healthcare we sought to identify the ethics literature that specifically focuses on rural America. We wanted to determine the extent to which the rural ethics literature was distributed between general commentaries, descriptive summaries of research, and original research publications. We identified 55 publications that specifically and substantively addressed rural healthcare ethics, published between 1966 and 2004. Only 7 (13%) of these publications were original (...) research articles while (12) 22% were descriptive summaries of research and 36 (65%) were general commentaries. The majority of publications examined (55%) were clinically focused while 27% addressed organizational ethics and 18% addressed ethical ramifications of rural healthcare policy at a national or community level. Our findings indicate that there are a limited number of publications focusing on rural healthcare ethics, suggesting a need for scholars and researchers to more rigorously address rural ethics issues. (shrink)
This integrative review aims to provide a synthesis of research findings of health-care professionals’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours relating to patient capacity to consent to or refuse treatment within the general hospital setting. Search strategies included relevant health databases, hand searching of key journals, ‘snowballing’ and expert recommendations. The review identified various knowledge gaps and attitudinal dispositions of health-care professionals, which influence their behaviours and decision-making in relation to capacity to consent processes. The findings suggest (...) that there is tension between legal, ethical and professional standards relating to the assessment of capacity and consent within healthcare. Legislation and policy guidance concerning capacity assessment processes are lacking, and this may contribute to inconsistencies in practice. (shrink)
The article provides answers to comments in this journal on my recent book, Setting Health-Care Priorities. What Ethical Theories Tell Us. Did I address all of the relevant theories? Yes, I did. Was my argument underdeveloped in any respects? Yes, at least in one as I should perhaps have discussed contractual ethical thinking more carefully. I do so in this response. Moreover, the critical comments raised have helped me to clarify my argument in many ways, for which I (...) thank my critics. (shrink)
Christopher Boorse is very skeptical of there being a pathocentric internal morality of medicine. Boorse argues that doctors have always engaged in activities other than healing, and so no internal morality of medicine can provide objections to euthanasia, contraception, sterilization, and other practices not aimed at fighting pathologies. Objections to these activities have to come from outside of medicine. I first argue that Boorse fails to appreciate that such widespread practices are compatible with medicine being essentially pathocentric. Then I contend (...) that the pathocentric essence, properly understood, does not prohibit physicians from engaging in actions that are not aimed at combating pathologies, but rather supports an internal morality of medicine that allows medical providers to refuse without penalty to engage in practices that promote pathologies. (shrink)
Many international declarations state that human beings have a human right to healthcare. However, is there a human right to healthcare? What grounds this right, and who has the corresponding duties to promote this right? Elsewhere, I have argued that human beings have human rights to the fundamental conditions for pursuing a good life. Drawing on this fundamental conditions approach of human rights, I offer a novel way of grounding a human right to (...) class='Hi'>healthcare. (shrink)
Rationing is the allocation of a good under conditions of scarcity, which necessarily implies that some who want and could be benefitted by that good will not receive it. One reflection of our ambivalence towards healthcare rationing is reflected in our resistance to having it distributed in a market like most other goods—most Americans reject ability to pay as the basis for distributing healthcare. They do not view healthcare as just another (...) commodity to be distributed by markets. Despite this widespread view, we are the only developed country without some form of universal health insurance, and so for the 46 million Americans without health insurance their access to healthcare often does depend on their ability to pay for it. Rationing largely remains a topic that the public, their elected leaders, and many healthcare professionals prefer to avoid. Ever-growing costs of healthcare will increasingly force the practice and issue of healthcare resource prioritization and rationing into the open for public, professional, and political attention. This paper explores some of the features of those practices and issues that make them especially ethically and politically difficult. Those issues will not be easily resolved, but avoiding them will not avoid the need or reality of rationing, it will only mean that it will go on covertly and unexamined. That will lead neither to better or more legitimate prioritization and rationing decisions. (shrink)
Churchill argues that every society rations healthcare-the problem is to do so justly. The central claim of the book is that a more "social" or communitarian starting point is needed. The book concludes with a brief discussion of healthcare rights and a sketchy account of the role of the physician in rationing.
BackgroundAs hospitals have grown more complex, the ethical concerns they confront have grown correspondingly complicated. Many hospitals have consequently developed healthcare ethics programs that include far more than ethics consultation services alone. Yet systematic research on these programs is lacking.MethodsBased on a national, cross-sectional survey of a stratified sample of 600 US hospitals, we report on the prevalence, scope, activities, staffing, workload, financial compensation, and greatest challenges facing HCEPs.ResultsAmong 372 hospitals whose informants responded to an online survey, (...) 97% of hospitals have HCEPs. Their scope includes clinical ethics functions in virtually all hospitals, but includes other functions in far fewer hospitals: ethical leadership, regulatory compliance, business ethics, and research ethics. HCEPs are responsible for providing ongoing ethics education to various target audiences including all staff, nurses, staff physicians, hospital leadership, medical residents and the community/general public. HCEPs staff are most commonly involved in policy work through review of existing policies but are less often involved in development of new policies. HCEPs have an ethics representative in executive leadership in 80.5% of hospitals, have representation on other hospital committees in 40.7%, are actively engaged in community outreach in 22.6%, and lead large-scale ethics quality improvement initiatives in 17.7%. In general, major teaching hospitals and urban hospitals have the most highly integrated ethics programs with the broadest scope and greatest number of activities. Larger hospitals, academically affiliated hospitals, and urban hospitals have significantly more individuals performing HCEP work and significantly more individuals receiving financial compensation specifically for that work. Overall, the most common greatest challenge facing HCEPs is resource shortages, whereas underutilization is the most common greatest challenge for hospitals with fewer than 100 beds. Respondents’ strategies for managing challenges include staff training and additional funds.ConclusionsWhile this study must be cautiously interpreted due to its limitations, the findings may be useful for understanding the characteristics of HCEPs in US hospitals and the factors associated with these characteristics. This information may contribute to exploring ways to strengthen HCEPs. (shrink)
The practice of health-care professional involvement in capital punishment has come under scrutiny since the implementation of lethal injection as a method of execution, raising questions of the goals of medicine and the ethics of medicalized procedures. The American Medical Association and other professional associations have issued statements prohibiting physician involvement in capital punishment because medicine is dedicated to preserving life. I address the three primary arguments against health-care professionals being involved in lethal injection and argue (...) that they are not strong enough to prohibit physician involvement in the lethal injection process. (shrink)
There are various grounds on which one may wish to distinguish a right to healthcare from a right to health. In this article, I review some old grounds before introducing some new grounds. But my central task is to argue that separating a right to healthcare from a right to health has objectionable consequences. I offer two main objections. The domestic objection is that separating the two rights prevents the state from fulfilling (...) its duty to maximise the health it provides each citizen from its fixed health budget. The international objection is that separating a human right to healthcare fails the moral requirement that, for any given moral human right, the substance to which any two right-holders are entitled be of an equal standard. (shrink)
When, if ever, can healthcare provider's lay claim to knowing what is best for their patients? In this paper, I offer a taxonomy of clinical disagreements. The taxonomy, I argue, reveals that healthcare providers often can lay claim to knowing what is best for their patients, but that oftentimes, they cannot do so *as* healthcare providers.
This article argues that teaching medical and nursing students healthcare ethics in an interdisciplinary setting is beneficial for them. Doing so produces an education that is theoretically more consistent with the goals of healthcare ethics, can help to reduce moral stress and burnout, and can improve patient care. Based on a literature review, theoretical arguments and individual observation, this article will show that the benefits of interdisciplinary education, specifically in ethics, outweigh the difficulties (...) many schools may have in developing such courses. (shrink)
In philosophy, intelligence is less important than character, or so Wittgenstein once argued. In this paper, in a similar vein, I suggest that in healthcare ethics consultation character is of preeminent importance. I suggest that the activity of ethics consultation can be understood as "training in virtue," and what distinguishes the good healthcare ethics consultant from his/her average colleague are differences in traits of character. The underlying assumption is that one's use of knowledge and (...) abilities are ultimately a function of who one is and how one perceives and confronts situations of moral uncertainty and conflict. In discussing the original case presented by Mark Bliton, I focus on the virtues of wisdom, justice, courage, compassion and humility. (shrink)
Some healthcare systems are said to be grounded in solidarity because healthcare is funded as a form of mutual support. This article argues that healthcare systems that are grounded in solidarity have the right to penalise some users who are responsible for their poor health. This derives from the fact that solidary systems involve both rights and obligations and, in some cases, those who avoidably incur health burdens violate obligations of solidarity. Penalties warranted include direct (...) patient contribution to costs, and lower priority treatment, but not typically full exclusion from the healthcare system. We also note two important restrictions on this argument. First, failures of solidary obligations can only be assumed under conditions that are conducive to sufficiently autonomous choice, which occur when patients are given ‘Golden Opportunities’ to improve their health. Second, because poor health does not occur in a social vacuum, an insistence on solidarity as part of healthcare is legitimate only if all members of society are held to similar standards of solidarity. We cannot insist upon, and penalise failures of, solidarity only for those who are unwell, and who cannot afford to evade the terms of public health. (shrink)
In this paper we explore the relation between health-care needs and patients’ desires within shared decision-making in a context of priority setting in healthcare. We begin by outlining some general characteristics of the concept of health-care need as well as the notions of SDM and desire. Secondly we will discuss how to distinguish between needs and desires for healthcare. Thirdly we present three cases which all aim to bring out and (...) discuss a number of queries which seem to arise due to the double focus on a patient’s need and what that patient desires. These queries regard the following themes: the objectivity and moral force of needs, the prediction about what kind of patients which will appear on a micro level, implications for ranking in priority setting, difficulties regarding assessing and comparing benefits, and implications for evidence-based medicine. (shrink)
Americans' appetite for life-prolonging therapies has led to unsustainable growth in healthcare costs. It is tempting to target older people for healthcare rationing based on their disproportionate use of healthcare resources and lifespan already lived, but aged-based rationing is unacceptable to many. Systems reforms can improve the efficiency of healthcare and may lessen pressure to ration services, but difficult choices still must be made to limit expensive, marginally beneficial (...) interventions. In the absence of agreement on principles to govern healthcare resource allocation, a fair, open priority-setting process should be created to allow for reasonable disagreement on principles while being seen as legitimate by all stakeholders. At the patient-care level, careful discussions about the benefits and burdens of medical intervention and support for slow medicine — a gentle, family-centered care approach for frail elders — can do much to avoid harming these patients with aggressive yet unwanted medical care while reducing wasteful spending. (shrink)
Health professionals increasingly face patients with complex health problems and this pressurizes them to cooperate. The authors have analyzed how the complexity of healthcare problems relates to two types of cooperation: consultation and multidisciplinary teamwork (MTW). Moreover, they have analyzed the impact of these two types of cooperation on perceived professional autonomy. Two teams were studied, one team dealing with geriatric patients and another treating oncology patients. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews, studied written documents, held (...) informal discussions and observed the teams at work. Consultation was most likely to take place when a patient had multiple problems. However, if these problems were interrelated, i.e. the solution for one problem interfered with solving another, then MTW was favored. The same was true when the available information was equivocal such that there were conflicting interpretations of a problem. How the professionals perceived the relationship between complexity and the need to cooperate depended on their expertise, their occupational background, and their work orientation. Consultation did not affect the professional autonomy of the healthcare professionals. MTW however did decrease the perceived level of professional autonomy. The extent to which this occurred seemed to depend on the quality of the interpersonal relations within the team. The findings can help in selecting the most appropriate and efficient type of cooperation based on the complexity of a patient’s problems. They can also help team leaders to stimulate reflection and feedback processes, and medical trainers to develop competencies among students related to such teamwork behaviors. (shrink)
Policymakers, employers, insurance companies, researchers, and healthcare providers have developed an increasing interest in using principles from behavioral economics and psychology to persuade people to change their health-related behaviors, lifestyles, and habits. In this article, we examine how principles from behavioral economics and psychology are being used to nudge people (the public, patients, or healthcare providers) toward particular decisions or behaviors related to health or healthcare, and we identify the (...) ethically relevant dimensions that should be considered for the utilization of each principle. (shrink)
Lifestyle diseases constitute an increasing proportion of health problems and this trend is likely to continue. A better understanding of the responsibility argument is important for the assessment of policies aimed at meeting this challenge. Holding individuals accountable for their choices in the context of healthcare is, however, controversial. There are powerful arguments both for and against such policies. In this article the main arguments for and the traditional arguments against the use of individual responsibility as (...) a criterion for the distribution of scarce health resources will be briefly outlined. It is argued that one of the most prominent contemporary normative traditions, liberal egalitarianism, presents a way of holding individuals accountable for their choices that avoids most of the problems pointed out by the critics. The aim of the article is to propose a plausible interpretation of liberal egalitarianism with respect to responsibility and healthcare and assess it against reasonable counter-arguments. (shrink)
This clear, accessible text/reference explores the full range of contemporary issues in healthcare ethics from a practical wisdom approach. The authors present the fundamental concerns of modern medical ethics–-autonomy, beneficence, justice, and confidentiality-–and then provide analysis, cases, and insights from professional literature to discuss them. Throughout, the discussion starts with larger issues or concepts and principles and then focuses on specific problems or complications.
This paper argues that societal duties of health promotion are underwritten (at least in large part) by a principle of beneficence. Further, this principle generates duties of justice that correlate with rights, not merely “imperfect” duties of charity or generosity. To support this argument, I draw on a useful distinction from bioethics and on a somewhat neglected approach to social obligation from political philosophy. The distinction is that between general and specific beneficence; and the approach from political philosophy has (...) at times been called equality of concern. After clarifying the distinction and setting out the basis of the equality of concern view, I argue that the result is a justice-based principle of “specific” beneficence that should be reflected in a society’s health policy. I then draw on this account to criticize, refine, and extend some prominent healthcare policy proposals from the bioethics literature. (shrink)
Should organ transplants be given to patients who have waited the longest, or need it most urgently, or those whose survival prospects are the best? The rationing of healthcare is universal and inevitable, taking place in poor and affluent countries, in publicly funded and private healthcare systems. Someone must budget for as well as dispense healthcare whilst aging populations severely stretch the availability of resources. The Ethics of HealthCare (...) Rationing is a clear and much-needed introduction to this increasingly important topic, considering and assessing the major ethical problems and dilemmas about the allocation, scarcity and rationing of healthcare. Beginning with a helpful overview of why rationing is an ethical problem, the authors examine the following key topics: What is the value of health? How can it be measured? What does it mean that a treatment is "good value for money"? What sort of distributive principles - utilitarian, egalitarian or prioritarian - should we rely on when thinking about healthcare rationing? Does rationing healthcare unfairly discriminate against the elderly and people with disabilities? Should patients be held responsible for their health? Why does the debate on responsibility for health lead to issues about socioeconomic status and social inequality? Throughout the book, examples from the US, UK and other countries are used to illustrate the ethical issues at stake. Additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and discussion questions make this an ideal starting point for students new to the subject, not only in philosophy but also in closely related fields such as politics, health economics, public health, medicine, nursing and social work. (shrink)
We intuitively think and talk about healthcare as a human right. Moreover, we tend to talk about health in the language of basic rights or human rights without a clear sense of what such rights mean, let alone whose duty it is to fulfill them. Additionally, in the care ethics literature, we tend to think of a dividing line between care and justice. In this dissertation I aim to draw care and justice together (...) in what I call care justice. To attend to care justice requires the reconceptualization of the value and practice of healthcare, and of the moral communities in which we enact care and justice. First, I argue for a strong right to healthcare, though not to health. Second, I argue that healthcare includes much more than mere medical care. On this account healthcare is special for the practices of care it values and communicates. Third, I establish a theoretical framework for why, and importantly how, healthcare entails other forms of care: social, economic and political. My approach engages a complicity framework to rethink moral community formation and participation, and the rights and responsibilities of individuals as participants in a collective moral community. I argue that it is within communities of membership, which I define as ethical homes, that we have duties to and expectations from others. The moral community as complicit ethical home provides a way to reimagine individual shared responsibility within moral communities, and particularly regarding responsibility for practices of care. (shrink)
The current U.S. healthcare system, with both rising costs and demands, is unsustainable. The combination of a sense of individual entitlement to healthcare and limited acceptance of individual responsibility with respect to personal health has contributed to a system which overspends and underperforms. This sense of entitlement has its roots in a perceived right to healthcare. Beginning with the so-called moral right to healthcare, the issue of who (...) provides healthcare has evolved as individual rights have trumped societal rights. The concept of government providing some level of healthcare ranges from limited government intervention, a ‘negative right to healthcare’, to various forms of a ‘positive right to healthcare’. The latter ranges from a decent minimum level of care to the best possible healthcare with access for all. We clarify the concept of legal rights as an entitlement to healthcare and present distributive and social justice counter arguments to present healthcare as a privilege that can be provided/earned/altered/revoked by governments. We propose that unlike a ‘right’, which is unconditional, a ‘privilege’ has limitations. Going forward, expectations about what will be made available should be lowered while taking personal responsibility for one’s health must for elevated. To have access to healthcare in the future will mean some loss of personal rights and an increase in personal responsibility for gaining or maintaining one’s health. (shrink)
This essay attempts to describe contemporary Catholic sponsored healthcare in the United States and to describe the purpose and structure of these particular Christian charitable organizations within the broader society. As healthcare has become more complex, critics claim that there is not a need for Catholic sponsored healthcare any longer. The author attempts to evaluate critically whether Catholic healthcare has a place in contemporary society. He reviews some salient (...) biblical, ecclesial, and justice teachings of the Church to demonstrate why religious institutional presence is still needed. The author reviews contemporary healthcare structures to show how this is accomplished. He also uncovers additional issues which need to be addressed in order for these charitable institutions to carry on the ministry of the Church, to shape social structures, and to proclaim the reign of God. (shrink)
This article tries to analyze the meaning and relevance of the concept of solidarity as compared to the concept of justice. While ‘justice’ refers to rights and duties , the concept of solidarity refers to relations of personal commitment and recognition . The article wants to answer the question whether solidarity and liberal justice should be seen as mutually exclusive or whether both approaches should be regarded as complementary to each other. The paper starts with an analysis of liberal theories (...) of justice which are followed by an analysis of the descriptive and a moral understanding of the concept of solidarity. The importance of solidarity lies in its relational aspects, particularly its emphasis on cooperation and commonality. The paper argues that while solidarity is more fundamental than justice, both concepts are important for the arrangement of healthcare practices. The paper gives special attention to the concept of decent care, reflective solidarity and humanitarian solidarity which is seen as fundamental for all healthcare policies and care practices. (shrink)
A just social arrangement must guarantee a right to healthcare for all. This right should be understood as a positive right to basic human functional capabilities. The present article aims to delineate the right to healthcare as part of an account of distributive justice in healthcare in terms of the sufficiency of basic human functional capabilities. According to the proposed account, every individual currently living beneath the sufficiency threshold or in jeopardy (...) of falling beneath the threshold has a legitimate claim to justice. People's entitlements to healthcare should not be determined on the basis of brute luck and their efforts to maintain healthy lifestyles. The prioritization of competing claim-rights of individuals is guided by two allocation principles: number and benefit-size weighted sufficiency (among people beneath the threshold) and need-weighted utilitarianism (among people above the threshold). (shrink)
Moral case deliberation is a dialogue among healthcare professionals about moral issues in practice. A trained facilitator moderates the dialogue, using a conversation method. Often, the facilitator is an ethicist. However, because of the growing interest in MCD and the need to connect MCD to practice, healthcare professionals should also become facilitators themselves. In order to transfer the facilitating expertise to healthcare professionals, a training program has been developed. This program enables professionals in (...) class='Hi'>healthcare institutions to acquire expertise in dealing with moral questions independent of the expertise of an ethicist. Over the past 10 years, we developed a training program with a specific mix of theory and practice, aiming to foster the right attitude, skills and knowledge of the trainee. The content and the didactics of the training developed in line with the philosophy of MCD: pragmatic hermeneutics, dialogical ethics and Socratic epistemology. Central principles are: ‘learning by doing’, ‘reflection instead of ready made knowledge’, and ‘dialogue on dialogue’. This paper describes the theoretical background and the didactic content of the current training. Furthermore, we present didactic tools which we developed for stimulating active learning. We also go into lessons we learned in developing the training. Next, we provide some preliminary data from evaluation research of the training program by participants. The discussion highlights crucial aspects of educating professionals to become facilitators of MCD. The paper ends with concluding remarks and a plea for more evaluative evidence of the effectiveness and meaning of this training program for doing MCD in institutions. (shrink)
HealthCare Ethics Healthcare ethics is the field of applied ethics that is concerned with the vast array of moral decision-making situations that arise in the practice of medicine in addition to the procedures and the policies that are designed to guide such practice. Of all of the aspects of the human body, and … Continue reading HealthCare Ethics →.