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How physicians face ethical difficulties : a qualitative analysis

Hull, S. C.
DuVal, G.
Danis, M.
Published in Journal of Medical Ethics. 2005, vol. 31, no. 1, p. 7-14
Abstract Physicians face ethical difficulties daily, yet they seek ethics consultation infrequently. To date, no systematic data have been collected on the strategies they use to resolve such difficulties when they do so without the help of ethics consultation. Thus, our understanding of ethical decision making in day to day medical practice is poor. We report findings from the qualitative analysis of 310 ethically difficult situations described to us by physicians who encountered them in their practice. When facing such situations, the physicians sought to avoid conflict, obtain assistance, and protect the integrity of their conscience and reputation, as well as the integrity of the group of people who participated in the decisions. These goals could conflict with each other, or with ethical goals, in problematic ways. Being aware of these potentially conflicting goals may help physicians to resolve ethical difficulties more effectively. This awareness should also contribute to informing the practice of ethics consultation.
Keywords AdultAgedBioethical IssuesConflict (Psychology)Decision Making/ethicsFemaleGoalsHumansMaleMiddle AgedPatient ParticipationPersonal AutonomyPhysicians/psychology
PMID: 15634746
Note PMCID: PMC1734016
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Research group Ethique biomédicale (783)
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HURST, Samia et al. How physicians face ethical difficulties : a qualitative analysis. In: Journal of Medical Ethics, 2005, vol. 31, n° 1, p. 7-14. doi: 10.1136/jme.2003.005835 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:84949

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Deposited on : 2016-07-04

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