Date of this Version
In 1992, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) passed a mandate that all its approved hospitals put in place a means for addressing ethical concerns. Although the particular process the hospital uses to address such concerns—ethics consultant, ethics forum, ethics committee—may vary, the hospital or healthcare ethics committee (HEC) is used most often. In a companion study to that reported here, we found that in 1998 over 90% of U.S. hospitals had ethics committees, compared to just 1% in 1983, and that many have some and a few have sweeping clinical powers in hospitals.
Date Posted: 08 March 2007
This document has been peer reviewed.