Use or Ornament? Clinical Ethics Committees in Infertility Units: A Qualitative Study
Clinical Ethics 2009 June; 4(2): 91-97
This paper examines the role of clinical ethics committees (CECs) in infertility clinics in the UK, focusing on whether they usefully support infertility clinicians' ethical decision-making. The overall aim of the study reported here was to investigate how infertility clinicians approached and handled ethical problems in their everyday practice and this paper reports on one aspect of these data ? what they thought about the use of CECs. This paper gives an overview of what arrangements there are for such committees in infertility clinics; considers why the clinicians used CECs; and examines how these committees provided a useful function in the infertility setting and contributed to making ?good? ethical decisions. Finally, the paper examines how the form of ethics support can be developed and strengthened, and concludes with recommendations for a particular model of CECs in infertility units ? a designated CEC for each infertility unit.
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