HEC Forum

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 305–323 | Cite as

The Place for Religious Content in Clinical Ethics Consultations: A Reply to Janet Malek

  • Nick ColgroveEmail author
  • Kelly Kate Evans


Janet Malek (HEC Forum 31(2):91–102, 2019) argues that a “clinical ethics consultant’s religious worldview has no place in developing ethical recommendations or communicating about them with patients, surrogates, and clinicians.” She offers five types of arguments in support of this thesis: arguments from (i) consensus, (ii) clarity, (iii) availability, (iv) consistency, and (v) autonomy. This essay shows that there are serious problems for each of Malek’s arguments. None of them is sufficient to motivate her thesis (nor are they jointly sufficient). Thus, if it is true that the religious worldview of clinical ethics consultants (CECs) should play no role whatsoever in their work as consultants, this claim will need to be defended on some other ground.


Clinical ethics consult Religion Pluralism Spirituality Ethics expertise ASBH 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Center for Bioethics, Healthcare, and SocietyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

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