Developing a ‘moral compass tool’ based on moral case deliberations: A pragmatic hermeneutic approach to clinical ethics

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Although moral case deliberation (MCD) is evaluated positively as a form of clinical ethics support (CES), it has limitations. To address these limitations our research objective was to develop a thematic CES tool. In order to assess the philosophical characteristics of a CES tool based on MCDs, we drew on hermeneutic ethics and pragmatism. We distinguished four core characteristics of a CES tool: (a) focusing on an actual situation that is experienced as morally challenging by the user; (b) stimulating moral inquiry into the moral concepts, questions and routines in the lived experience of the CES tool user; (c) stimulating moral learning by exploring other perspectives; and (d) incorporating contextual details. We provide an example of a CES tool developed for moral dilemmas over client autonomy. Our article ends with some reflections on the normativity of the CES tool, other application areas and the importance of evaluation studies of CES tools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1012-1021
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

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