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American Journal of Bioethics.

Patient and Family Descriptions of Ethical Concerns

Ethically challenging situations routinely arise in the course of illness and healthcare. However, very few studies have surveyed patients and family members about their experiences with ethically challenging situations. To address this gap in the literature, we surveyed patients and family members at three hospitals. We conducted a content analysis of their responses to open-ended questions about their most memorable experience with an ethical concern for them or their family member. Participants (N = 196) described 219 unique ethical experiences that spanned many of the prevailing themes of bioethics, including the patient-physician relationship, end-of-life care, decision-making capacity, healthcare costs, and genetic testing. Participants focused on relational issues in the course of experiencing illness and receiving medical care and concerns regarding the patient-physician encounters. Many concerns arose outside of a healthcare setting. These data indicate areas for improvement for healthcare providers but some concerns may be better addressed outside of the traditional healthcare setting.

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Volume 20, Issue 6
June 2020

Target Articles.

Patient and Family Descriptions of Ethical Concerns Hae Lin Cho, Christine Grady, Anita Tarzian, Gail Povar, Jed Mangal & Marion Danis