Clinical ethics consultation is an emerging field whereby an individual or group of individuals with expertise in ethics provides a set of services to clinicians and families to provide guidance about ethical issues that arise during medical treatment. Ethicists may help to resolve disputes when parties disagree about treatment decisions, offer historical context regarding issues that medical providers and families may think are novel, and provide insights into the current state of the issue in the bioethics literature. Multiple methodologies and approaches exist by which an ethics consultant can scrutinize, analyze, and provide recommendations of an ethically acceptable option. In this chapter, we will focus on the role of the ethics consultant, explore various approaches to performing a formal ethics consultation, review cases from the literature, and describe two clinical ethical consultations that involve pediatric patients with congenital heart disease. Finally, we provide an update on the credentialing of ethics consultants and the potential utility of a national ethics database in the future.
Ethics consultation Pediatric cardiology Pediatric cardiac surgery Medical ethics Mediation
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