Perceived Benefits of Ethics Consultation Differ by Profession: A Qualitative Survey Study

Annie B. Friedrich, Elizabeth M. Kohlberg, Jay R. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: There are numerous benefits to ethics consultation services, but little is known about the reasons different professionals may or may not request an ethics consultation. Inter-professional differences in the perceived utility of ethics consultation have not previously been studied. Methods: To understand profession-specific perceived benefits of ethics consultation, we surveyed all employees at an urban tertiary children’s hospital about their use of ethics committee services (n = 842). Results: Our findings suggest that nurses and physicians find ethics consultations useful for different reasons; physicians were more likely to report normative benefits, while nurses were more likely to report communicative and relational benefits. Conclusions: These findings support an open model of ethics consultation and may also help ethics committees to better understand consultation requests and remain attuned to the needs of various professional groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalAJOB Empirical Bioethics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Clinical ethics
  • ethics consultation
  • nursing
  • pediatrics


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