The Effectiveness of Standardized Patient Simulation in Training Hospital Ethics Committees

David Y. Harari, Robert Macauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clinical simulation using standardized patients has become standard in medical education--and is now being incorporated into some graduate programs in bioethics--for both formative and summative evaluation. In most hospitals, though, clinical ethics consultation is done by the ethics committee (or a subset of it). This study is the first, to our knowledge, to examine the effectiveness of standardized patient simulation in training hospital ethics committees to deal with ethically complex and emotionally fraught clinical situations. Following a substantial revision of the institution's nonbeneficial treatment policy, ethics committee members underwent a simulation to determine whether a specific requested treatment should be withheld on the basis of futility. Pre- and post-intervention surveys showed improvement in all domains, although the small sample size limited the power of the study, with only one measure showing a statistically significant difference. An interesting incidental finding was that one-quarter of committee members voted against a determination of futility, even though the case clearly met the definition set forth in the policy. This highlights the emotional challenges in implementing an ethically rigorous, unanimously accepted policy that ultimately determines the timing and manner of a patient's death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of clinical ethics
Volume27
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Clinical Ethics Committees
Patient Simulation
Committee Membership
Medical Futility
Ethics Committees
moral philosophy
simulation
Institutional Ethics
Ethics Consultation
Clinical Ethics
Bioethics
Incidental Findings
Medical Education
Sample Size
bioethics
graduate
Therapeutics
death
Simulation Training
evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy

Cite this

The Effectiveness of Standardized Patient Simulation in Training Hospital Ethics Committees. / Harari, David Y.; Macauley, Robert.

In: The Journal of clinical ethics, Vol. 27, No. 1, 01.03.2016, p. 14-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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