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Publication Date

2008-11-25

Availability

UM campus only

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Sociology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2008-11-18

First Committee Member

John Murphy - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Gerard Magill - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Stephen Sapp - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Linda L. Belgrave - Committee Member

Abstract

As technology advances, health care decisions have become increasingly complex. American hospitals, based on accreditation standards, are required to have a system and process to address ethics, patient rights, and responsibilities. These practices vary widely, and there is very little consistency and few standards across the country. Key court cases have provided minor structure, and the federal government has been silent in the formulation of these structures but not necessarily in this arena. Most often, these accreditation standards related to clinical ethics are managed by Healthcare Ethics Committees (HEC). Bioethics has become a growing field, the level of integration between this discipline and healthcare practice varies widely. Using qualitative methods based on Grounded Theory, this analysis presents six key thematic findings, as well as interpretations to identify current challenges and opportunities to make recommendations for improvement by enhancing clarity and reducing ambiguity.

Keywords

Medical Sociology; End-of-life Decision Making; Healthcare Ethics Committees; Bioethics

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