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Philos Ethics Humanit Med. 2013 Mar 27;8:3. doi: 10.1186/1747-5341-8-3.

Cardiovascular medicine at face value: a qualitative pilot study on clinical axiology.

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Grupo transfuncional en ética clínica, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, IMSS, Av. Cuauhtémoc 330 Col. Doctores, México 06720, DF, Mexico.



Cardiology is characterized by its state-of-the-art biomedical technology and the predominance of Evidence-Based Medicine. This predominance makes it difficult for healthcare professionals to deal with the ethical dilemmas that emerge in this subspecialty. This paper is a first endeavor to empirically investigate the axiological foundations of the healthcare professionals in a cardiology hospital. Our pilot study selected, as the target population, cardiology personnel not only because of their difficult ethical deliberations but also because of the stringent conditions in which they have to make them. Therefore, there is an urgent need to reconsider clinical ethics and Value-Based Medicine. This study proposes a qualitative analysis of the values and the virtues of healthcare professionals in a cardiology hospital in order to establish how the former impact upon the medical and ethical decisions made by the latter.


We point out the need for strengthening the roles of healthcare personnel as educators and guidance counselors in order to meet the ends of medicine, as well as the need for an ethical discernment that is compatible with our results, namely, that the ethical values developed by healthcare professionals stem from their life history as well as their professional education.


We establish the kind of actions, communication skills and empathy that are required to build a stronger patient-healthcare professional relationship, which at the same time improves prognosis, treatment efficiency and therapeutic adhesion.

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