The Educational Needs of Ethics Committees

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 3 (3):467 (1994)
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Hospital ethics committees must be knowledgeable if they are to perform consultations, advise administrators on policy, or offer educational programs. Because the membership of the committee is interdisciplinary, with most drawn from the healthcare professions, the individuals who join cannot be expected to bring knowledge of bioethies with them. Therefore, a new committee must spend time developing expertise before it can appropriately serve the hospital community. Although the need for committee self-education is generally recognized, it is seldom discussed in any detail. When discussed at all, expertise in bioethies is usually described as composed of a familiarity with an identifiable body of knowledge and mastery over techniques of moral reasoning. It is assumed that a committee can develop this expertise early in its life through a short course of study



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