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AJOB Empir Bioeth. 2020 Mar 24:1-8. doi: 10.1080/23294515.2020.1737983. [Epub ahead of print]

When Do Pediatricians Call the Ethics Consultation Service? Impact of Clinical Experience and Formal Ethics Training.

Author information

1
Department of Philosophy, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, USA.
2
Department of Foundational Medical Studies and Department of Pediatrics, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, Michigan, USA.
3
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, Michigan, USA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
5
Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
6
Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Abstract

Background: Previous research shows that pediatricians inconsistently utilize the ethics consultation service (ECS). Methods: Pediatricians in two suburban, Midwestern academic hospitals were asked to reflect on their ethics training and utilization of ECS via an anonymous, electronic survey distributed in 2017 and 2018, and analyzed in 2018. Participants reported their clinical experience, exposure to formal and informal ethics training, use of formal and informal ethics consultations, and potential barriers to formal consultation. Results: Less experienced pediatricians were more likely to utilize formal ethics consultation and more likely to have formal ethics training. The most commonly reported reasons not to pursue formal ECS consultation were inconvenience and self-reported expertise in pediatric ethics. Conclusions: These results inform ongoing discussions about ethics consultation among pediatricians and the role of formal ethics training in both undergraduate and graduate medical education.

KEYWORDS:

ethical review; ethics consultation; ethics consultation service; healthcare ethics consultation; pediatric ethics

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