Conclusion

Much remains to be done to sharpen the focus of the work of institutional ethics committees and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various committee and consultation models. This area is one of social experimentation and will remain so into the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, in a very short time, ethics committees have contributed greatly to the general bioethics agenda of creating dialogue on ethics issues in healthcare. Most acute-care hospitals in the United States, and many other settings where chronically ill and dying patients receive care, have an established institutional vehicle for explicit, interdisciplinary discussion of difficult ethical issues.

CHARLES J. DOUGHERTY (1 995) BIBLIOGRAPHY REVISED

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; Nursing Ethics; Patients' Rights; Pastoral Care and Healthcare Chaplaincy; and other Clinical Ethics subentries

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