Although clinical ethics consultation is a high-stakes endeavor with an increasing prominence in health care systems, progress in developing standards for quality is challenging. In this article, we describe the results of a pilot project utilizing portfolios as an evaluation tool. We found that this approach is feasible and resulted in a reasonably wide distribution of scores among the 23 submitted portfolios that we evaluated. We discuss limitations and implications of these results, and suggest that this is a significant step (...) on the pathway to an eventual certification process for clinical ethics consultants. (shrink)
Medical advances in transplantation techniques have driven an exponential increase in the demand for transplantable organs. Unfortunately, policy efforts to bolster the organ supply have been less than effective, failing to provide a stopgap for ever-increasing numbers of patients who await organ transplantation. The number of registrations on waiting lists exceeded 65,245 in early 1999, a 325% increase over the 20,000 that existed 11 years earlier in 1988. Regrettably, more than 4,000 patients die each year while awaiting transplantation.