Roles of the Clinical Ethics Consultant: A Response to Kornfeld and Prager

 

David Michael Vaughan, Rebecca Permar, Corisa Rakestraw, Ryan Hart, Leslie C. Griffin, and William J. Winslade,

The Journal of Clinical Ethics 30, no. 2 (Summer 2019): 117-20.

 

We believe that clinical ethics consultants (CECs) should offer advice, options, and recommendations to attending physicians and their teams. In their article in this issue of The Journal of Clinical Ethics, however, Kornfeld and Prager give CECs a somewhat different role. The CEC they describe may at times be more aptly understood as a medical interventionist who appropriates the roles of the attending physician and the medical team than as a traditional CEC. In these remarks, we distinguish the role of the CEC from that of the physician, in contrast to some of these authors’ recommendations, which confuse the two roles.

 

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