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Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Scholarship to Research

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The center's clinical ethics personnel engage in scholarship focusing on the practice of clinical ethics consultation as well as on the challenging theoretical questions that arise in the clinical context. Our team writes on best practices for clinical ethics consultation services using empirical and conceptual approaches with the hope that our work can contribute to the evolution of our young field. We also seek to develop robust ethical analyses of novel or controversial issues for which ethical consensus is lacking. Please see below for some recent examples of our team's scholarship.

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Clinical Ethics Consultation Practices

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Stephens, AL, CR Bruce, A Childress, J Malek. 2019. Why Families Get Angry: Practical Strategies for Clinical Ethics Consultants to Rebuild Trust Between Angry Families and Clinicians in the Critical Care Environment. HEC Forum.

Malek, J. 2018. The Appropriate Role of a Clinical Ethics Consultant's Religious Worldview in Consultative Work: Nearly None. HEC Forum

Bruce CR et al. Addressing Patient-Centered Ethical Issues in Health Care: A Case-Based Study Guide. The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities; 2017.

Bruce CR, Majumder MA, Stephens A, Malek J, McGuire AM. Cultivating administrative support for a clinical ethics consultation service. Journal of Clinical Ethics; 2016; 27(4):341-351.

Bruce CR, Bibler TM, Pena AM. Kusin B. A qualitative exploration of a clinical ethicist's role and contributions during family meetings. HEC Forum. 2016; 28(4):283-299.

Bibler T, Pena A, Bruce CR. Consultations across languages. Hastings Center Report. 2015; 45(3):13-14.

Bruce CR. Clinical Ethics Methods. In: Peer-Review in Clinical Ethics Consultation: Modeling Practice. Edited by Stuart G. Finder and Mark J. Bliton. Springer Publishing Company, NY; 2015.

Bruce CR, Majumder MA, Bibler TM, McCullough LB, Blumenthal-Barby JS, Allen NA, Pena A. McGuire AM. A Practical Guide to Developing and Sustaining a Clinical Ethics Consultation Service. 2015.

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Normative Clinical Ethics Analysis

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Puri, K, J Malek, CM de la Uz, J Lantos, AG Cabrera, E Fruge. Ethics Rounds: The Risks of Allowing Adolescents to Weigh Benefits and Burdens of High-States Treatment Alternatives. Forthcoming in Pediatrics.

Bibler, T. Choosing Between Practicing Good Medicine and Following the Law in Texas. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Epub ahead of print. [DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201903-0630LE]

Real de Asua, D.., Lee K., Koch P., de Melo-Martin, I., Bibler, T. We don't need unilateral DNRs: Taking informed non-dissent one step further. Journal of Medical Ethics. 45 (5):314-317, 2019. [DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2018-105305]

Bibler, T., Miller SM. What if she was your mother?: Toward better responses. Journal of Critical Care. 49:155-57, 2019. [DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2018.10.031]

Bruce CR, Bibler T, Childress A, Fedson S. Legislating Medicine: The Need for Evidence, Argument, and Alliance. Critical Care Medicine. 2018;46(5):788-790. Pubmed PMID: 29252931

Bruce CR., Bibler T., Childress A., Fedson S.. Legislating how critical care physicians discuss and implement do-not-resuscitate orders. Journal of Critical Care. 2018;44:549-461. Pubmed PMID: 29287932

Childress, A. M., and C. R. Thomas. Navigating the Perfect Storm: Ethical Guidance for Conducting Research Involving Participants with Multiple Vulnerabilities Kennedy Institute Ethics. 2018;28(4):451-478. Pubmed PMID: 30713194

Shinall M., Stahl D., Bibler, T. Addressing a Patient's Hope for a Miracle.. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2018;55(2):535-539. Pubmed PMID: 29030208

Bruce CR, Bibler T, Childress A, Fedson S. Legislating Medicine: The Need for Evidence, Argument, and Alliance. Critical Care Medicine. 2018;46(5):788-790. Pubmed PMID: 29252931

Bruce CR., Bibler T., Childress A., Fedson S. Legislating how critical care physicians discuss and implement do-not-resuscitate orders. Journal of Critical Care. 2018;44:549-461. Pubmed PMID: 29287932

Bibler, T., Galbraith KR., Brothers, KB. Ethics and Pediatric Brain Death: Recent Controversy and Practical Suggestions. Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care. 2017;6(4):240-244

Malek J. Maternal Decision-making During Pregnancy: Parental Obligations and Cultural Differences. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics Gynecology. 2017 February 10.

Bruce CR and Koch P. Opting out of Bad Texas Legislation. Houston Business Journal; May, 2017

Bruce CR and Koch P. Flawed Assumptions: Ethical Problems with Proposed Presumed Consent Legislation. The American Journal of Transplantation. 2017; 17(12):3262-3263.

Koch, P, Lazaridis, C. What does it mean for a critically ill patient to fare well? Intensive Care Medicine. 2017; 43(10):1518-1519.

Schaffer, S, E Schaffer and J Malek. 2016. Life and Death on Her Own Terms. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 6(2): 96-99.

Malek, J. 2016. Responding to Refusal of Recommended Cesarean Section: Promoting Good Parenting. Seminars in Perinatology 40(4): 216-21.

Bruce CR, Bibler TM, Childress A, Stephens A, Pena A, Allen N. Navigating ethical conflicts between advance directives and surrogate decision makers' interpretations of patient wishes. Chest. 2016; 149(2):562-7.

Bruce CR, Bibler TM, Childress A, Stephens A, Pena A, Allen N. Response to commentaries on our article. Navigating ethical conflicts between advance directives and surrogate decision makers' interpretations of patient wishes. Chest. 2016; 149(6):1577-8.

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Research Overview

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Clinical ethics faculty are engaged in ground-breaking research in the areas of Clinical Ethics Research and Medical Decision Making and Ethics. The center’s research efforts involve active partnerships with various government and private institutions including the National Institutes for Health, the Houston Methodist Hospital and the Houston Methodist Research Institute, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.