Ética clínica: Status quaestionis

Persona y Bioética 20 (1):26-37 (2016)
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Abstract

Clinical ethics refers to an emerging field in clinical medicine that focuses on the process of ethical decision-making in a clinicalsetting. It has developed as a result of a growing awareness that modern medicine – characterized by technological progress, culturaldiversity and social challenges – is posing a range of new “ethical dilemmas” that medical science alone cannot solve. For thisreason, clinical ethics is often linked to “ethics consultation,” which consists of services provided by an individual ethicist, ethicsteam or committee to address the ethical issues involved in a specific clinical case. Although clinical ethics developed in the beginningmainly as a methodological analysis to arrive at a justification for clinical ethical decisions, it quickly has become clear thatthe difficulty in clinical decision-making is only one aspect of wider ethical problems pertaining to the doctor-patient relationshipas a whole and, most likely, to the core value of the medical profession. The principles method is usually presented as the mostpopular methodological approach to an analysis of clinical cases. However, strong criticism of this model has been voiced, and otheralternative approaches are referred to, such as the casuistry model. Recently, significant contributions have been made by narrativemedicine and virtue ethics. According to these methodologies, sound anthropology and a good relationship with the sick person arekey elements required of any person engaged in medical practice who aims to be genuinely appropriate from an ethical perspective. DOI: 10.5294/pebi.2016.20.1.3

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