Those involved in healthcare ethics consultation professionalism efforts face many challenges. Many – particularly academics involved in bioethics education – have been working on the notion that those who offer clinical ethics consultation services as individuals be appropriately credentialed, certified, or accredited in someway.
In re-reading an article by Diane Hoffmann, Anita Tarzian, and Anne O’Neil which appeared in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics in 2000, one striking challenge is readily apparent: ethics committee members – with little or no formal training in clinical ethics, little or no actual consultation experience, some with not much more than a sufficient interest in biomedical ethics issues and a willingness to serve – already feel competent to participate in offering consultation services. Moreover, from the Hoffmann-Tarzian-O’Neill data set, ethics committee members who self-report that they are competent to participate in clinical ethics consultation – and in hospitals which average only three consultations per year – believe that they are meeting their obligations to patients, families, staff, and institutions reasonably well.
The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our website.