• Jamie Carlin Watson
  • Laura K. Guidry-Grimes
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 129)


Philosophers and other specialists are increasingly called upon to offer insight and guidance for complex moral decisions, whether as ethics committee members or as ethics consultants. The practice of ethics consultation is especially prominent in health care facilities, and there is growing professional interest in academic programs and fellowships designed to develop skills in assisting with moral decision-making. This phenomenon has raised questions among both academics and medical professionals about the nature and plausibility of anyone’s possessing such a skill, particularly, whether ethics professionals should be regarded as other specialists, as experts who can offer authoritative advice. In this introduction, we explain some of the basic concepts related to moral expertise and review the central debates over its nature, plausibility, scope, and implications, for both theoretical bioethics and clinical practice.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jamie Carlin Watson
    • 1
  • Laura K. Guidry-Grimes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Humanities and BioethicsUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA

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