Ethics Committees and Their Framework: Commentary on “Suffering as a Consideration in Ethical Decision Making”

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 1 (2):143 (1992)
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Abstract

I find myself in a strange position writing a commentary to an article on ethics committees because in Germany, ethics committees in the American sense do not exist. What we call Ethikkommission are present in every German faculty of medicine and would be called institutional review boards in the United States; committees that review research projects of faculty members with respect to ethical standards. So i most consult my imagination rather than my experience about what really happens in Americal ethics committees. There are only two things. I perhaps can fall back on to simultaneously inspire and bridle my imagination. I have been sitting for 5 years on the IRB of our faculty and have been giving ethics seminars and case discussions to students for more than 10 years. Ethics is an optional subject in Germany and attracts the more sensitive and thoughtful students. Perhaps the intellectual process generating itself in those groups in some ways similar to that occurring in ethics committees. As for the rest, I hope to profit from the so-called unprejudiced perspective of the foreigner. I agree with a great deal of Loewy's descriptions and even with suffering as a principle, but I have some doubt whether that occurring in ethics committees. As for the rest, I hope with a reat deal of Loewy's descriptions and even with suffering as a principle, but I have some doubt whether that principle has the highest possible generality

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