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Development and evaluation of clinical ethics support in the UK

The clinical ethics project was funded by a grant from the Ethox Foundation, with the aim of developing clinical ethics research, teaching and service development at Warwick Medical School. The project had three strands:

  • Developing and continuing evaluation research on clinical ethics support in the NHS
  • Developing and delivering educational courses and materials for health professionals and members of clinical ethics committees on ethical issues arising in health care
  • Providing support for clinical ethics committees in the UK and for the UK Clinical Ethics Network http://www.ukcen.net/

Clinical ethics is the area of medical ethics that focuses on the practical everyday experience of health professionals, patients and families with regard to the ethical dilemmas that arise in caring for patients and delivering health care. Questions such as when it is appropriate to withdraw treatment from a patient nearing the end of their life, how should a clinician respond to a teenager's refusal of treatment, or what criteria should a hospital use to make decisions about the use of limited resources in a pandemic. Our work focused on the ethical analysis of such questions and the implementation of effective ethics support to health professionals, patients and their families.

The research team was:

Dr Anne-Marie Slowther (Principal Investigator)

Dr Zoë Fritz

Dr Dita Wickins-Drazilova (University of Dundee)

Mrs Louise Hutton (Research Secretary)

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