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HEC Forum. 2016 Mar;28(1):69-74. doi: 10.1007/s10730-015-9273-9.

Preventive Ethics Through Expanding Education.

Author information

1
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore. Anita.ho@ubc.ca.
2
W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia, 237-6356 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada. Anita.ho@ubc.ca.
3
Providence Health Care, 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6, Canada. Anita.ho@ubc.ca.
4
W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia, 237-6356 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada.
5
Providence Health Care, 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6, Canada.

Abstract

Healthcare institutions have been making increasing efforts to standardize consultation methodology and to accredit both bioethics training programs and the consultants accordingly. The focus has traditionally been on the ethics consultation as the relevant unit of ethics intervention. Outcome measures are studied in relation to consultations, and the hidden assumption is that consultations are the preferred or best way to address day-to-day ethical dilemmas. Reflecting on the data from an internal quality improvement survey and the literature, we argue that having general ethics education as a key function of ethics services may be more important in meeting the contemporaneous needs of acute care settings. An expanded and varied ethics education, with attention to the time constraints of healthcare workers' schedules, was a key recommendation brought forward by survey respondents. Promoting ethical reflection and creating a culture of ethics may serve to prevent ethical dilemmas or mitigate their effects.

KEYWORDS:

Accreditation; Capacity building; Communication; Ethics consultation; Ethics education; Preventive ethics

PMID:
25752297
DOI:
10.1007/s10730-015-9273-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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