Center for Bioethics Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

July 1998


Clinical bioethics is big business. There are now hundreds of people who "do" bioethics in community and university hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation and home care settings, and some (though quite a few less) who play the role of clinical ethics consultant to transplant teams, managed care companies, and genetic testing firms. Still, there is as much speculation about what clinically active bioethicists actually do as there was ten years ago. Various commentators have pondered the need for training standards, credentials, "certification" exams, and malpractice insurance for ethicists engaged in clinical consultation. Much of the discussion seems to accept an implicit presumption that all clinical ethics consultation practices look pretty much alike. But is this accurate? What do clinical ethicists do, how and where do they do it, and what kind of clinical ethics is useful in the hospital and in other settings?


© Cambridge University Press 1998. Reprinted from Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Volume 7, Issue 3, July 1998, pages 308-314.
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Date Posted: 18 May 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.