A Second Opinion: A Case Narrative on Clinical Ethics Mediation


Michael S. Weinstein


      Contrasting traditional and common forms of ethics consultation with bioethics mediation, I describe the case of a “second opinion” consultation in the care of a patient with advanced cancer for whom treatment was futile. While the initial ethics consultation, performed by a colleague, led to a recommendation that some may deem ethical, the process failed to involve key stakeholders and failed to explore the underlying values and reasons for the opinions voiced by various stakeholders. The process of mediation ultimately led to creative solutions in which all stakeholders could reach consensus on a plan of care.


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