The Dream of Consensus: Finding Common Ground in a Bioethical Context
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. 1999 Jun; 20(3): 261-273.
Consensus is the holy grail of bioethics, the lynch pin of the assumption that well informed, well intentioned people may reach generally acceptable positions on ethically contentious issues. It has been especially important in bioethics, where advancing technology has assured an increasing field of complex medical dilemmas. This paper results on the use of a multicriterion decision making system (MCDM) analyzing group process in an attempt to better define hospital policy. In a pilot program at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, a series of small scale focus groups was constituted to examine criteria defining organ transplant eligibility. Criteria were organized hierarchically using the Analytic Hierarchy Process, an MCDM approach, and the resulting data was analyzed using Expert Choice 9.0, software designed to facilitate AHP analysis. Qualitative and quantitative analysis map barriers to practical consensus in a way not previously possible.
Bioethics; Children; Consensus; Decision Making; Down Syndrome; Focus Groups; Health; Health Personnel; Hospitals; Intelligence; Life; Mortality; Organ Transplantation; Patient Advocacy; Patient Compliance; Quality of Life; Resource Allocation; Social worth; Technology; Transplant Recipients; Transplantation; Treatment Outcome;
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