Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 3–5 | Cite as

Research on clinical ethics and consultation. Introduction to the theme

Thematic Section


Clinical ethics consultation has developed from local pioneer projects into a field of growing interest among both clinicians and ethicists. What is needed are more systematic studies on the ethical challenges faced in clinical practice and problem solving through ethics consultation from interdisciplinary perspectives. The Thematic Issue covers a range of topics and includes five recent studies from various European countries and the USA, focusing on issues such as the ethical difficulties of end of life decisions, experiences with newly developed or well established ethics consultation services, and the expectations of physicians in various clinical fields who are still unfamiliar with clinical ethics consultation. The papers included illustrate the interface between different socio-cultural contexts and their ways of dealing with clinical ethics consultation. They deepen the dialogue on clinical ethics consultation that has emerged at the European and International level.


clinical ethics consultation interdisciplinary methodology research 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Agich G.J.: 2001, The Question of Method in Ethics Consultation, American Journal of Bioethics 1(4), 31–41PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aleksandrova S.: 2008, ‹Survey on the Experience in Ethical Decision-Making and Attitude of Pleven University Hospital Physicians towards Ethics Consultation’, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11, doi:  10.1007/s11019-007-9100-4
  3. Beck S, A. van de Loo, S. Reiter-Theil: 2008, ‹A “little bit illegal”: Withholding and Withdrawing of Mechanical Ventilation in the Eyes of German Intensive Care Physicians’, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11, doi:  10.1007/s11019-007-9097-8
  4. Buerkli P.: 2003, ‹Clinical ethics consultation–first international assessment summit’, Ethik in der Medizin 15, 250–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buerkli P., N. Steinkamp.: 2004, ‹Ethics consultation in the clinic’, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7(1), 113–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Danis M., A. Farrar, C. Grady, C. Taylor, P. O’Donnell, K.␣Soeken and C. Ulrich: 2008, ‹Does Fear of Retaliation Deter Requests for Ethics Consultation?’, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11, doi:  10.1007/s11019-007-9105-z
  7. Foerde R., R. Pedersen and V. Akre: 2008, ‹Clinicians’ Evaluation of Clinical Ethics Consultations in Norway: A Tool for Quality Improvement’, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11, doi:  10.1007/s11019-007-9102-2
  8. Haimes E.: 2002, ‹What Can the Social Sciences Contribute to the Study of Ethics? Theoretical, Empirical and Substantive Considerations’, Bioethics 16(2), 89–113PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Molewijk, B., H. Milius, M. Verkerk and G. Widdershoven: 2008, ‹Implementing Moral Case Deliberation in a Psychiatric Hospital: Process and Outcome’, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11, doi:  10.1007/s11019-007-9103-1
  10. Nikku N, B.E. Eriksson.: 2006, ‹Microethics in Action’, Bioethics 20(4), 169–179PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Putnam H.: 2002, The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy, Cambridge, Mass/London: Harvard University Press, pp. 28–45Google Scholar
  12. Reiter-Theil S.: 2001, ‹Ethics Consultation in Germany. The Present Situation’, Health Ethics Committee Forum 13(3), 265–280Google Scholar
  13. Reiter-Theil S.: 2003, ‹Balancing the Perspectives. The Patient’s Role in Clinical Ethics Consultation’, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 6, 247–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Reiter-Theil S.: 2004, ‹Does Empirical Research Make Bioethics more Relevant? “The Embedded Researcher” as a Methodological Approach’, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7, 17–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Slowther A.M.: ‹Conference Report. 2nd International Conference: Clinical Ethics Consultation, March 17–20, 2005, Basel, Switzerland’. EACME Newsletter 13, April: letter/n13.htm
  16. Smith W.J.: 2001, ‹The Question of Method in Ethics Consultation: Transforming a Career into a Profession?’, American Journal of Bioethics 1(4), 42–43PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sugarman J.: 2004, ‹The Future of Empirical Research in Bioethics’, Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 32(2), 226–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sugarman, J., D.P. Sulmasy (eds.): 2001, Methods in Medical Ethics. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University PressGoogle Scholar
  19. Ten Have H.A.M.J., A. Lelie: 1998, ‹Medical ethics research between theory and practice’, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19, 263–276PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Veatch R.M.: (2001), ‹Ethics Consultation: Permission from Patients and Other Problems of Method’, American Journal of Bioethics 1(4), 43–45PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Applied Ethics and Medical Ethics (IAEME), Medical FacultyUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.BGeXperience ProgramBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

Personalised recommendations