Cases from the Cleveland Clinical Foundation

 

Whatís Knowledge Got to Do with It? Ethics, Epistemology, and Intractable Conflicts in the Medical Setting

 

Bryan Kibbe and Paul J. Ford

 

      This article utilizes the case of Ms H. to examine the contrasting ways that surrogate decision makers move from simply hearing information about the patient to actually knowing and understanding the patientís medical condition. The focus of the case is on a familyís request to actually see the patientís wounds instead of being told about the wounds, and the role of clinical ethicists in facilitating this request. We argue that clinical ethicists have an important role to play in the work of converting information into knowledge and that this can serve as a valuable way forward in the midst of seemingly intractable conflicts in the medical setting.

 

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