Working towards implementing moral case deliberation in mental healthcare: Ongoing dialogue and shared ownership as strategy

Clinical Ethics 11 (2-3):54-62 (2016)
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Abstract

The design and implementation of clinical ethics support is attracting increasing attention. Often, the characteristics and aims of clinical ethics support are translated into practice in a top-down, programmatic manner. These characteristics and aims then remain a constant feature of the clinical ethics support functions within the organisation. We argue that the characteristics of clinical ethics support should be reflected in the implementation strategy. Inspired by dialogical, pragmatic and hermeneutic perspectives on clinical ethics support in general and moral case deliberation in particular, we argue for a dialogical approach to implementing clinical ethics support, based on open, ongoing discussion with healthcare professionals about how they conceive clinical ethics support. Based on research and experience with various moral case deliberation implementation projects in mental healthcare, we present a theoretical framework for dialogical implementation and heuristic guidelines for implementing moral case deliberation in mental healthcare, which take into account the dialogical characteristics of moral case deliberation and some specific features of mental healthcare.

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V. Hans
St Aloysius College