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  1. In Search of Good Care: The Methodology of Phenomenological, Theory-Oriented ‘N=N Case Studies’ in Empirically Grounded Ethics of Care.Guus Timmerman, Andries Baart & Frans Vosman - 2019 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 22 (4):573-582.
    This paper proposes a new perspective on the methodology of qualitative inquiry in ethics, especially the interaction between empirical work and theory development, and introduces standards to evaluate the quality of this inquiry and its findings. The kind of qualitative inquiry the authors are proposing brings to light what participants in practices of care and welfare do and refrain from doing, and what they undergo, in order to offer ‘stepping stones’, political-ethical insights that originate in the practice studied and enable (...)
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  • Digital Bioethics: Introducing New Methods for the Study of Bioethical Issues.Manuel Schneider, Effy Vayena & Alessandro Blasimme - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2021-107387.
    The online space has become a digital public square, where individuals interact and share ideas on the most trivial to the most serious of matters, including discussions of controversial ethical issues in science, technology and medicine. In the last decade, new disciplines like computational social science and social data science have created methods to collect and analyse such data that have considerably expanded the scope of social science research. Empirical bioethics can benefit from the integration of such digital methods to (...)
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  • Pursuing Impact in Research: Towards an Ethical Approach.Inger Lise Teig, Michael Dunn, Angeliki Kerasidou & Kristine Bærøe - 2022 - BMC Medical Ethics 23 (1).
    BackgroundResearch proactively and deliberately aims to bring about specific changes to how societies function and individual lives fare. However, in the ever-expanding field of ethical regulations and guidance for researchers, one ethical consideration seems to have passed under the radar: How should researchers act when pursuing actual, societal changes based on their academic work?Main textWhen researchers engage in the process of bringing about societal impact to tackle local or global challenges important concerns arise: cultural, social and political values and institutions (...)
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  • The Prisoner’s Dilemma: An Adequate Concept for Ethical Analysis in Healthcare? A Systematic Search and Critical Review.Wolf Rogowski & Oliver Lange - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 177 (1):63-77.
    Schools of economic ethics inspired by Buchanan propose viewing ethical conflicts as prisoners’ dilemmas to facilitate solutions based on Pareto-improving institutional changes. Given that healthcare is determined by complex institutional arrangements, it has been claimed that this approach is also suitable for business ethics in healthcare. To scrutinize this claim, this research systematically searched for studies reporting PD structures in healthcare. PubMed, EconLit, and EconBiz were searched to find articles in German and English. Study type, characteristics of the game, and (...)
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  • Empirical Research and Recommendations for Moral Action: A Plea for the Transparent Reporting of Bridge Principles in Public Health Research.Katja Kuehlmeyer, Marcel Mertz, Joschka Haltaufderheide, Alexander Kremling, Sebastian Schleidgen & Julia Inthorn - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics.
    Academic publications of empirical public health research often entail recommendations for moral action that address practitioners and policy makers. These recommendations are regularly based on implicit moral judgments with the underlying reasons not explicitly stated. In this paper, we elaborate on the moral relevance of such judgments and the need to explain them in order to account for academic argumentation. We argue for an explicit reporting of bridge principles to increase the transparency of the reporting of public health research. The (...)
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  • Embedded Ethics: A Proposal for Integrating Ethics Into the Development of Medical AI.Alena Buyx, Sami Haddadin, Ruth Müller, Daniel Tigard, Amelia Fiske & Stuart McLennan - 2022 - BMC Medical Ethics 23 (1):1-10.
    The emergence of ethical concerns surrounding artificial intelligence has led to an explosion of high-level ethical principles being published by a wide range of public and private organizations. However, there is a need to consider how AI developers can be practically assisted to anticipate, identify and address ethical issues regarding AI technologies. This is particularly important in the development of AI intended for healthcare settings, where applications will often interact directly with patients in various states of vulnerability. In this paper, (...)
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  • ‘I Feel That Injustice is Being Done to Me’: A Qualitative Study of Women’s Viewpoints on the (Lack of) Reimbursement for Social Egg Freezing.Veerle Provoost, Julie Nekkebroeck, Gily Coene & Michiel De Proost - 2022 - BMC Medical Ethics 23 (1).
    BackgroundDuring the last decade, the possibility for women to cryopreserve oocytes in anticipation of age-related fertility loss, also referred to as social egg freezing, has become an established practice at fertility clinics around the globe. In Europe, there is extensive variation in the costs for this procedure, with the common denominator that there are almost no funding arrangements or reimbursement policies. This is the first qualitative study that specifically explores viewpoints on the reimbursement for women who had considered to uptake (...)
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  • Defining Ethical Challenge(s) in Healthcare Research: A Rapid Review.Richard Huxtable, Lucy Ellen Selman, Mariana Dittborn & Guy Schofield - 2021 - BMC Medical Ethics 22 (1):1-17.
    BackgroundDespite its ubiquity in academic research, the phrase ‘ethical challenge’ appears to lack an agreed definition. A lack of a definition risks introducing confusion or avoidable bias. Conceptual clarity is a key component of research, both theoretical and empirical. Using a rapid review methodology, we sought to review definitions of ‘ethical challenge’ and closely related terms as used in current healthcare research literature.MethodsRapid review to identify peer-reviewed reports examining ‘ethical challenge’ in any context, extracting data on definitions of ‘ethical challenge’ (...)
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  • Developing New Ways to Listen: The Value of Narrative Approaches in Empirical (Bio)Ethics.Carlo Leget, Megan Milota & Bernadette Roest - 2021 - BMC Medical Ethics 22 (1):1-13.
    The use of qualitative research in empirical bioethics is becoming increasingly popular, but its implementation comes with several challenges, such as difficulties in aligning moral epistemology and methods. In this paper, we describe some problems that empirical bioethics researchers may face; these problems are related to a tension between the different poles on the spectrum of scientific paradigms, namely a positivist and interpretive stance. We explore the ideas of narrative construction, ‘genres’ in medicine and dominant discourses in relation to empirical (...)
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  • The Ethical Implications of Verbal Autopsy: Responding to Emotional and Moral Distress.Sassy Molyneux, Marylene Wamukoya, Amek Nyaguara, Vicki Marsh & Alex Hinga - 2021 - BMC Medical Ethics 22 (1):1-16.
    BackgroundVerbal autopsy is a pragmatic approach for generating cause-of-death data in contexts without well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems. It has primarily been conducted in health and demographic surveillance systems in Africa and Asia. Although significant resources have been invested to develop the technical aspects of verbal autopsy, ethical issues have received little attention. We explored the benefits and burdens of verbal autopsy in HDSS settings and identified potential strategies to respond to the ethical issues identified.MethodsThis research was based (...)
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  • Dual Consent? Donors’ and Recipients’ Views About Involvement in Decision-Making on the Use of Embryos Created by Gamete Donation in Research.I. Baía, C. de Freitas, C. Samorinha, V. Provoost & S. Silva - 2019 - BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):1-6.
    Background Reasonable disagreement about the role awarded to gamete donors in decision-making on the use of embryos created by gamete donation for research purposes emphasises the importance of considering the implementation of participatory, adaptive, and trustworthy policies and guidelines for consent procedures. However, the perspectives of gamete donors and recipients about decision-making regarding research with EGDs are still under-researched, which precludes the development of policies and guidelines informed by evidence. This study seeks to explore the views of donors and recipients (...)
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  • Old Problems in Need of New (Narrative) Approaches? A Young Physician–Bioethicist’s Search for Ethical Guidance in the Practice of Physician-Assisted Dying in the Netherlands.Bernadette Roest - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (4):274-279.
    The current empirical research and normative arguments on physician-assisted dying in the Netherlands seem insufficient to provide ethical guidance to general practitioners in the practice of PAD, due to a gap between the evidence and arguments on the one hand and the uncertainties and complexities as found in everyday practice on the other. This paper addresses the problems of current ethical arguments and empirical research and how both seem to be profoundly influenced by the Dutch legislative framework on PAD and (...)
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  • Beyond Individualisation: Towards a More Contextualised Understanding of Women’s Social Egg Freezing Experiences.Michiel De Proost, Gily Coene, Julie Nekkebroeck & Veerle Provoost - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2020-107190.
    Recently, Petersen provided in this journal a critical discussion of individualisation arguments in the context of social egg freezing. This argument underlines the idea that it is morally problematic to use individual technological solutions to solve societal challenges that women face. So far, however, there is a lack of empirical data to contextualise his central normative claim that individualisation arguments are implausible. This article discusses an empirical study that supports a contextualised reading of the normative work of Petersen. Based on (...)
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  • Can Clinical Ethics Committees Be Legitimate Actors in Bedside Rationing?Morten Magelssen & Kristine Bærøe - 2019 - BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):1-8.
    Background Rationing and allocation decisions at the clinical level – bedside rationing – entail complex dilemmas that clinicians and managers often find difficult to handle. There is a lack of mechanisms and aids for promoting fair decisions, especially in hard cases. Reports indicate that clinical ethics committees sometimes handle cases that involve bedside rationing dilemmas. Can CECs have a legitimate role to play in bedside rationing? Main text Aided by two frameworks for legitimate priority setting, we discuss how CECs can (...)
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  • Developing a Toolkit for Engagement Practice: Sharing Power with Communities in Priority-Setting for Global Health Research Projects.Bridget Pratt - 2020 - BMC Medical Ethics 21 (1):1-14.
    BackgroundCommunities’ engagement in priority-setting is a key means for setting research topics and questions of relevance and benefit to them. However, without attention to dynamics of power and diversity, their engagement can be tokenistic. So far, there remains limited ethical guidance on how to share power with communities, particularly those considered disadvantaged and marginalised, in global health research priority-setting. This paper generates a comprehensive, empirically-based “ethical toolkit” to provide such guidance, further strengthening a previously proposed checklist version of the toolkit. (...)
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  • Mapping, Framing, Shaping: A Framework for Empirical Bioethics Research Projects.Richard Huxtable & Jonathan Ives - 2019 - BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):1-8.
    Background There is growing interest in the use and incorporation of empirical data in bioethics research. Much of the recent focus has been on specific “empirical bioethics” methodologies, which attempt to integrate the empirical and the normative. Researchers in the field are, however, beginning to explore broader questions, including around acceptable standards of practice for undertaking such research. The framework: In this article, we further widen the focus to consider the overall shape of an empirical bioethics research project. We outline (...)
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  • The Concise Argument.Lucy Frith - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):1-2.
    This post-holiday edition of the JME brings together a number of papers, covering a range of methodologies, surveys on public opinion, the application of developmental neuroscience, comparative risk/benefit questionnaires, scoping reviews and analysis of guidance and health policy, alongside what might be seen as more traditional medical ethics, analysing concepts and advancing arguments. This range of methodologies is suggestive of the kind of discipline that bioethics has become, and how a wealth of disciplinary and methodological perspectives is needed to address (...)
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  • “Ceteris Paribus” and Morally Relevant Facts.Jan Schildmann, Florian Bruns & Alexander Kremling - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (3):66-67.
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  • Debating Diversity: A Commentary on Standards of Practice in Empirical Bioethics Research.Stacy M. Carter - 2018 - BMC Medical Ethics 19 (1):67.
    This article provides a commentary on Standards of practice in empirical bioethics research by Ives and colleagues. There is much to admire in the paper, and in the demanding consensus-building process on which it reports. I discuss the problems and limits of methodological standardisation, and a central conceptual tension that appears to have divided participants. I suggest that the finished product should be understood as a record of a methodological conversation, rather than being used as a disciplinary tool to limit (...)
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  • Let’s Talk About Standards: A Commentary on Standards of Practice in Empirical Bioethics.Alan Cribb - 2018 - BMC Medical Ethics 19 (1):69.
    This commentary welcomes the work of Ives et al. on Standards of practice in Empirical Bioethics, and especially the dialogical spirit in which the standards have been constructed and offered. It also raises some questions about the consistent interpretation and use of such standards.
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  • Setting Standards for Empirical Bioethics Research: A Response to Carter and Cribb.Michael Dunn, Jonathan Ives, Bert Molewijk & Jan Schildmann - 2018 - BMC Medical Ethics 19 (1):66.
    This paper responds to the commentaries from Stacy Carter and Alan Cribb. We pick up on two main themes in our response. First, we reflect on how the process of setting standards for empirical bioethics research entails drawing boundaries around what research counts as empirical bioethics research, and we discuss whether the standards agreed in the consensus process draw these boundaries correctly. Second, we expand on the discussion in the original paper of the role and significance of the concept of (...)
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