Professor Leah McClimans 'Justifying Clinical Ethics: Bridging the Gap Between Evaluation and Advocacy'
SpeakersProfessor Leah McClimans, Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina & University of Warwick
VenueUniversity of Exeter,Egenis,Byrne House,St Germans Road,Exeter, EX4 4PJRoom: GF7, Byrne House
Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
The evaluation of clinical ethics consultation is undoubtedly an important part of clinical ethics. It helps to ensure accountability and high quality service, but it also functions to fulfill another purpose: to advocate for clinical ethics services. Nonetheless, the evaluation of clinical ethics consultation presupposes that such a service is something worth having. For instance, the evaluation of an ethics consultation process assumes that we ought to have one; the evaluation of access to ethics consultation supposes that people should be able to avail of their services.In the first part of this paper I argue that if the goal of evaluation is part advocacy, then it behooves us to better understand why clinical ethics services are needed to promote ethical behavior. It is not obvious why we need them; there are few, if any other areas of life where we have such services to promote ethical behavior. To answer this question I explore some of the constitutive differences between clinician/patient relationships and the sort of relationships we have with others, such as friends, partners, parents and children.The justification of clinical ethics services not only helps to bridge the gap between evaluation and advocacy, but also might help to clarify the goal(s) of clinical ethics. In the second half of this paper I explore what goals we might infer from a justification of clinical ethics services that relies on the nature of the clinician/patient relationship.