The Independent Ethics Consultant: Practice Model and Opportunities


Katrina A. Bramstedt


The first ethicists of the 1970s paved the way for the three most familiar models of clinical ethics consultation: (1) a single consultant, (2) a member of a hospital ethics committee, and (3) a member of a subcommittee of a hospital ethics committee. Within the single consultant model there are (A) the lone ethicist (a member of hospital staff, working alone when consulting) and (B) the independent ethicist (a freelance, external consultant, working alone). This article discusses the structure and opportunities offered by the freelance, independent ethicist model, and provides guidance for those who employ freelance, independent ethicists, as well as guidance for ethicists who are considering adopting this practice model.




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