Inspectors’ ethical challenges in health care regulation: a pilot study

W. Seekles*, G. Widdershoven, P. Robben, G. van Dalfsen, B. Molewijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


There is an increasing body of research on what kind of ethical challenges health care professionals experience regarding the quality of care. In the Netherlands the Dutch Health Care Inspectorate is responsible for monitoring and regulating the quality of health care. No research exists on what kind of ethical challenges inspectors experience during the regulation process itself. In a pilot study we used moral case deliberation as method in order to reflect upon inspectors’ ethical challenges. The objective of this paper is to give an overview of the ethical challenges which health care inspectors encounter in their daily work. A thematic qualitative analysis was performed on cases (n = 69) that were collected from health care inspectors in a moral case deliberation pilot study. Eight themes were identified in health care regulation. These can be divided in two categories: work content and internal collaboration. The work of the health care inspectorate is morally loaded and our recommendation is that some form of ethics support is provided for health care inspectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
JournalMedicine, Health Care and Philosophy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

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