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Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)
Sociology (Arts and Sciences)
Date of Defense
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
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.
Medical Sociology; End-of-life Decision Making; Healthcare Ethics Committees; Bioethics
Boren, Shedrick John, "Ignoring Ambiguity: Legitimating Clinical Decisions" (2008). Open Access Dissertations. 170.