HEC Forum

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 205–216 | Cite as

Novel Paths to Relevance: How Clinical Ethics Committees Promote Ethical Reflection

  • Morten MagelssenEmail author
  • Reidar Pedersen
  • Reidun Førde


How may clinical ethics committees (CECs) inspire ethical reflection among healthcare professionals? How may they deal with organizational ethics issues? In recent years, Norwegian CECs have attempted different activites that stretch or go beyond the standard trio of education, consultation, and policy work. We studied the novel activities of Norwegian CECs by examining annual reports and interviewing CEC members. Through qualitative analysis we identified nine categories of novel CEC activities, which we describe by way of examples. In light of the findings, we argue that some novel working methods may be well suited to promote ethical reflection among clinicians, and that the CEC may be a suitable venue for discussing issues of organizational ethics.


Ethics committee Clinical ethics Organizational ethics 



The authors’ research on the Norwegian clinical ethics committees is funded by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morten Magelssen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Reidar Pedersen
    • 1
  • Reidun Førde
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Medical Ethics, Institute of Health and SocietyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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