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The community bioethics committee: A unique pathway out of bioethical dilemmas

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We believe that most bioethies committees as well as individual ethics consultants have major shortcomings in that they are unlikely to be open to serving the widest number of citizens who may need their services when facing bioethical dilemmas. The HDCC serves as a community resource, is open to all citizens, is free standing, and provides a wide variety of perspectives which can assist patients, their families, and healthcare providers to explore a range of values and options.

The HDCC serves as a model for communities that seek to establish a bioethics resource. Further, the HDCC model permits the further exploration of ways in which important healthcare issues can be faced. AHD believes, in keeping with its mission, that the creation of the HDCC can increase the public's awareness of and involvement in healthcare issues. As B. Jennings reminds us,

The mission of community health decisions projects is to stimulate a well-informed conversation where many voices are heard and all reasonable perspectives given due consideration. They not only inform, but also enable responsible civic participation and thoughtful health care decisionmaking (6).

The HDCC model can serve to bring discussions on bioethical dilemmas out of secrecy into safer, yet more open, community fora.

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Wilson, R.G., Gallegos, T.G. The community bioethics committee: A unique pathway out of bioethical dilemmas. HEC Forum 4, 372–377 (1992).

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  • Care Decisionmaking
  • Health Decision
  • Bioethic Committee
  • Major Shortcoming
  • Free Standing