There has been considerable interest in normative ethics regarding how and when coercive care can be justified. However, only a few empirical studies consider how professionals reason about ethical aspects when assessing the need for coercive care for adults, and even less concerning children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine and describe how professionals document their value arguments when considering the need for coercive psychiatric care of young people.
All 16 clinics that admitted children or adolescents to coercive care during one year in Sweden were included in the study. These clinics had a total of 155 admissions of 142 patients over one year. Qualitative content analysis with a deductive approach was used to find different forms of justification for coercive care that was documented in the medical records, including Care Certificates.
The analysis of medical records revealed two main arguments used to justify coercive care in child and adolescent psychiatry: 1) the protection argument - the patients needed protection, mainly from themselves, and 2) the treatment requirement argument - coercive care was a necessary measure for administering treatment to the patient. Other arguments, namely the caregiver support argument, the clarification argument and the solidarity argument, were used primarily to support the two main arguments. These supportive arguments were mostly used when describing the current situation, not in the explicit argumentation for coercive care. The need for treatment was often only implicitly clarified and the type of care the patient needed was not specified. Few value arguments were used in the decision for coercive care; instead physicians often used their authority to convince others that treatment was necessary.
One clinical implication of the study is that decisions about the use of coercive care should have a much stronger emphasis on ethical aspects. There is a need for an ethical legitimacy founded upon explicit ethical reasoning and after communication with the patient and family, which should be documented together with the decision to use coercive care.
The editor in chief of the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association explains that professional journalism alone cannot be expected to protect against questionable practice but it plays a vital role in the network of resources that define standards of excellent and ethical care. According to some, the explosion of biomedical information has created a crisis as emerging science overwhelms practitioners' capacity to intelligently evaluate it and incorporate it into practice. Research in medicine shows that journals play only a part in decisions regarding practice patterns. Some initiatives taken by the Canadian Dental Association to publish professional literature relevant to practitioners' needs to remain current in order to prevent questionable dental practice are described.
Comment On: J Am Coll Dent. 2003;70(3):6-814977371
External supervision of teams is increasingly part of mechanisms put in place both in public networks and community organizations to contribute in supporting professional mental health workers in developing their abilities and improving their clinical practices. It also plays a role in the analysis of ethical questions and in the prevention of deontological errors. The supervision of teams also includes its share of challenges, notably with regards to group dynamics and mechanisms to favour in order for supervision to rightly adjust to the needs and levels of participating professionals. Finally, the supervisor must also consider his own ethical responsibilities towards those supervised and towards their clients.
Many studies have been published about ethics committees and the clarifications requested about the submitted applications. In Finland, ethics committees require a separate statement on ethical aspects of the research in applications to the ethics committee. However, little is known about how researchers consider the ethical aspects of their own studies.
The data were collected from all the applications received by the official regional ethics committee in the Hospital District of Northern Savo during 2004-2009 (n?=?688). These included a total of 56 studies involving research on tissue other than blood. The statements by the researchers about the ethics about their own research in these applications were analyzed by thematic content analysis under the following themes: recruitment, informed consent, risks and benefits, confidentiality and societal meaning.
The researchers tended to describe recruitment and informed consent process very briefly. Usually these descriptions simply stated who the recruiter was and that written consent would be required. There was little information provided on the recruitment situation and on how the study recruiters would be informed. Although most of the studies were clinical, the possibility was hardly ever discussed that patients could fail to distinguish between care and research.
The written guidelines, available on the webpages of the ethics committee, do not seem to be enough to help researchers achieve this goal. In addition to detailed guidelines for researchers, investigators need to be taught to appreciate the ethical aspects in their own studies.
Cites: J Med Ethics. 2011 Feb;37(2):74-8021098797
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This article wants to be a contribution reflecting on the theme of applied ethics aiming at nourishing professional and interdisciplinary practices. The authors examine the process of ethical deliberation which has four major ends : the development of reflective and ethical competences of professionals, the elaboration by professionals, of an ethical reflective structure facilitating professional praxis, orientation and quick coordination of action ; implementation of a structure of collective deliberation useful in the orientation of difficult decisions and future actions. Finally, this process also has an objective of evaluation and appears relevant in the apprenticeship drawn from experiences of each participant.
A wide variety of bioethical themes have recently been debated and researched in Sweden, including genetic screening, HPV vaccination strategies, end-of-life care, injustices and priority setting in healthcare, dual-use research, and the never-ending story of scientific fraud. Also, there are some new events related to Swedish biobanking that might be of general interest. Here we will concentrate on four themes: end-of-life care, dual-use research, scientific fraud, and biobanking.