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Clinical ethics

In their day-to-day practice, health professionals are called upon to make clinical and value judgements about which among a range of available options is the best for the particular patient. Value judgements might include those about which course of action would be in the best interests of a patient lacking capacity; about the quality of life of patients in intensive care; about whether in a particular case a foreseeable harm to a third party is sufficiently serious to justify a breach of patient confidentiality. Good practice requires that decisions about the choice of particular courses of treatment be justified on the basis of good evidence; it also requires that health professionals and managers are able to provide good reasons for the value judgements that inform their decisions. The Ethox Centre has a major research interest in the ethical issues arising in day-to-day clinical practice and in the management of healthcare organisations.



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