Teaching and Learning the Techniques of Conflict Resolution for Challenging Ethics Consultations


Edward J. Bergman and Autumn Fiester


      Professional mediators have long possessed a skill set that is uniquely suited to facilitation of difficult conversations between and among individuals in emotionally charged situations. This skill set has increasingly been recognized as invaluable to the work of clinical ethics consultants as they navigate conflicts involving families, surrogates, and providers. Given widespread acknowledgment that communication difficulties lie at the root of many clinical ethics conflicts, mediation offers techniques to enhance communication between conflicting parties. This special section of The Journal of Clinical Ethics focuses on core aspects of the mediation process designed for effective management of clinical conflict emanating from communication breakdowns, highly charged value conflicts, and instances of perceived disrespect.


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