Clinical ethics consultation arose in the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century amid the moral and legal uncertainty spawned by the rapid expansion of choices produced by medical advances, the emergence of the tertiary-care medical center, and the individual-rights movement that challenged traditional authority structures. Although it holds great promise, clinical ethics consultation remains a nascent profession. Many of the theoretical and practical questions about its goals, training, evaluation, accountability, and support remain unanswered. Nonetheless, clinical ethics consultation is growing and even flourishing. As the U.S. health system evolves over the coming years, the role and place of clinical ethics consultation in the healthcare system certainly will be addressed.


SEE ALSO: Anthropology and Bioethics; Autonomy; Beneficence; Bioethics, African-American Perspectives; Care; Casuistry; Coercion; Compassionate Love; Competence; Confidentiality; Conscience, Rights of; Death; Ethics; Healthcare Resources, Allocation of; Informed Consent; Life, (Quality of; and other Clinical Ethics subentries

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