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The Roles of Hospital Ethics Committee and Clinical Ethics Consultation Teams

  • Korean Journal of Medical Ethics
  • Abbr : 의료윤리
  • 2017, 20(4), pp.353-358
  • DOI : 10.35301/ksme.2017.20.4.353
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Medical Ethics
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > General Medicine
  • Received : August 11, 2017
  • Accepted : September 8, 2017
  • Published : December 31, 2017

Heo, Dae Seog 1 Park Hye Yoon ORD ID 2 HONG,Jinui 2 LEE,Jinwoo 2 Bhumsuk Keam ORD ID 2

1서울대학교
2서울대학교병원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

New legislation on hospice-palliative care and end-of-life decision-making in Korea comes into effect in February 2018. Hospital Ethics Committees (HECs) will play a key role in deciding controversial cases. HECs have existed in Korea for decades, but most of their work has been directed toward dispute mediation. With the new legislation coming into effect, HECs will now concentrate on end-of-life issues. However, since there are many other ethical issues that arise in clinical practice, the roles of HECs need to be reconsidered and perhaps reconfigured. Since HECs tend to convene on a monthly basis, they are illequipped to deal with end-of-life decisions, which often must be made within hours or a few days. Clinical ethics consultation teams can bridge the gap between the urgent demands of clinical practice and the slower and more formal activities of HECs. This article argues that it is necessary for HECs to delegate some of their roles or responsibilities to clinical ethics consultation teams.

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