The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has created a quality attestation process for clinical ethics consultants; the pilot phase of reviewing portfolios has begun. One aspect of the QA process which is particularly challenging is assessing the interpersonal skills of individual clinical ethics consultants. We propose that using case simulation to evaluate clinical ethics consultants is an approach that can meet this need provided clear standards for assessment are identified. To this end, we developed the Assessing Clinical Ethics Skills (...) tool, which identifies and specifies specific behaviors that a clinical ethics consultant should demonstrate in an ethics case simulation. The aim is for the clinical ethics consultant or student to use a videotaped case simulation, along with the ACES tool scored by a trained rater, to demonstrate their competence as part of their QA portfolio. The development and piloting of the tool is described. (shrink)
As the field of clinical ethics consultation sets standards and moves forward with the Quality Attestation process, questions should be raised about what ethical issues really do arise in practice. There is limited data on the type and number of ethics consultations conducted across different settings. At Loyola University Medical Center, we conducted a retrospective review of our ethics consultations from 2008 through 2013. One hundred fifty-six cases met the eligibility criteria. We analyzed demographic data on these patients and conducted (...) a content analysis of the ethics consultation write-ups coding both the frequency of ethical issues and most significant, or key, ethical issue per case. Patients for whom ethics consultation was requested were typically male, white, between 50 and 69 years old, of non-Hispanic origin, and of Roman Catholic faith. Nearly half were in the intensive care unit and 44.2 % died in the hospital. The most frequent broad ethical categories were decision-making, goals of care/treatment, and end-of-life. More specifically, capacity, patient’s wishes/autonomy, and surrogate decision maker were the most frequent particular ethical issues. The most common key ethical issues were withdrawing/withholding treatment, patient wishes/autonomy, and capacity. Our findings provide additional data to inform the training of clinical ethics consultants regarding the ethical issues that arise in practice. A wider research agenda should be formed to collect and compare data across institutions to improve education and training in our field. (shrink)
Oral health is a critical part of overall health. The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of oral health. In this article, we describe how dental practice has been impacted by COVID-19, identify the public health response to COVID-19, and explain the gradual resumption of dental care after the initial disruption due to the pandemic. Finally, we discuss how long-standing health disparities in oral health have been exacerbated by the current pandemic.
Based on a general review of international, representative tissue banking policies that were described in the medical, ethics, and legal literature, this paper reviews the range of standards, both conceptually and in existing regulations, relevant to four main factors:(1) commercialization, (2) confidentiality, (3) informed consent, and (4) quality of research. These four factors were selected as reflective of some of the major ethical considerations that arise in the conduct of tissue banking research. The authors emphasize that any policy or ethical (...) guidelines designed to regulate tissue bank research should address all four factors. Whenever this sort of research is conducted between several institutions or several countries, the paper suggests that the relevant entities work collaboratively to harmonize their standards. (shrink)
In this paper, we will consider the role of oaths and codes of ethics in undergraduate medical education. Studies of ethics syllabi suggest that ethics educators typically use well-known bioethics texts such as Beauchamp and Childress. Yet, many issues that medical students will face are addressed by codes of ethics and oaths. We will first provide a historical survey of oaths and codes and then address how these sources of ethical guidance can be effectively used in ethics education of medical (...) students. Oaths and codes can be engagingly taught using a range of techniques including visual narrative. Excerpts from television and film can be used to highlight challenging ethical dilemmas in a variety of settings, taking the learning from the theoretical to the more applied while offering context. (shrink)
Public intellectuals have long played a role in American culture, filling the gap between the academic elite and the educated public. According to some commentators, the role of the public intellectual has undergone a steady decline for the past several decades, being replaced by the academic expert. The most notable cause of this decline has been both the growth of the academy in the twentieth century,which has served to concentrate intellectual activity within its confines, and the changing nature of the (...) media, which has framed the way in which information is conveyed to the public. We argue that although bioethics has developed primarily within the academic tradition and utilized the role of expert when dealing with the public, bioethicists are well suited to don the mantle of the public intellectual. Indeed, because they address issues in medicine and science of great relevance for the general public, bioethicists have a duty to revitalize the tradition of public intellectuals as a necessary complement to the important, but narrower role of expert. (shrink)
With the many changes occurring in today's healthcare organizations, patients are increasingly equipped with a vast quantity of health care data and being more included in the healthcare decision-making process. The new approach we propose incorporates a new patient-organization framework that examines relevant historical, legal and ethical elements within the doctrine of informed consent in addition to examining the role of new healthcare organizations' obligations to include data to support addressing issues such as population health, health outcomes and health disparities (...) within the informed consent. There is a growing consensus among healthcare professionals that using an evidencebased organizational informed consent framework to improve the informed consent process can lead to better comprehension, health outcomes, transparency and improved patient trust and retention overall. (shrink)
The triumvirate of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria have dominated our public health focus in the developing world. Having claimed millions of lives, these infectious diseases have prompted a large-scale response. Concomitant with these efforts has been a burgeoning bioethics literature examining global health and distributive justice. A scholarly waste-land only a decade ago, there is now a growing and rich literature that aims to unpack our moral obligations when it comes to diseases that affect the majority of the world (many (...) living in absolute poverty). Now, added to the persistent challenges posed by infectious diseases is the growing burden of diseases such as cancer, which disproportionately affect .. (shrink)