Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Henk ten Have


  • Edward J. Bergman
  • Autumn M. Fiester
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_280-1


Management of clinical disputes in healthcare is a universally acknowledged concern. The traditional, recommendation-focused model of clinical ethics consultation (CEC) employed by hospital ethics committees (HECs) or their designees has been criticized, while bioethics mediation has been increasingly embraced, in theory, as an alternative approach to the delivery of CEC. Unfortunately, the endorsement of mediation has arrived in the absence of consensus as to its implementation and to the training and credentialing of its practitioners. As a result, there have been few dedicated bioethics mediation programs in US medical institutions. This entry begins with a description of mediation as a dispute resolution process and a brief history of bioethics mediation. It then focuses on the ethical dimensions of bioethics mediation along with theoretical and practical controversy in the bioethics community that has impeded widespread adoption of a bioethics mediation model for the management of CEC.


Mediation Bioethics mediation Clinical ethics mediation Clinical ethics consultation Dispute resolution Moral uncertainty Moral aporia Hospital ethics committees Confidentiality Narrative ethics Pluralism Principlism Values Trust 
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Further Readings

  1. Bergman, E. (2014). Managing conflict in clinical health care with diminished reliance on third party intervention: Forging an ethical and legal mandate for effective physician-patient communication. Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Journal of Conflict Resolution, 15(2), 473–499.Google Scholar
  2. Bergman, E., & Fiester, A. (2014). The future of clinical ethics education: Value pluralism, communication, and mediation. In A. Akabayashi (Ed.), The future of bioethics international dialogues (pp. 703–711). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fiester, A. (2015). Neglected ends in healthcare ethics consultation: Bioethics mediation & the prospects for closure. American Journal of Bioethics, 15(1), 29–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA