The economics of clinical ethics programs: a quantitative justification

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 6 (4):451- (1997)
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Abstract

The restructuring of the healthcare marketplace has exerted pressure directly and indirectly on clinical ethics programs. The fiscal orientation and emphasis on efficiency, outcome measures, and cost control have made it increasingly difficult to communicate arguments in support of the existence or growth of ethics programs. In the current marketplace, arguments that rely on the claim that ethics programs protect patient rights or assist in the professional formation of practitioners often result in minimal levels of funding and preclude program growth. Where ethics programs could once sustain themselves on goodwill alone and values arguments in an expanding healthcare market they are now encountering—at least by anecdotal reports—cutbacks and even elimination. To respond to these challenges, we offer an economic model that can be used to demonstrate the “value” of an institutionally based ethics program

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