Legal accountability in Clinical Ethics Consultation

  • Silvia Ceruti | ceruti.silvia@gmail.com Centro di Ricerca in Etica Clinica, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Varese, Italy.
  • Mario Picozzi Centro di Ricerca in Etica Clinica, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Varese, Italy.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to outline the framework for a critical reflection about legal accountability associated with Clinical Ethics Consultation (CEC). First of all, we will explain why we believe that, at the present time, in Italy, CEC provided by an individual Ethics Consultant shoud be considered the best format to guarantee a quality service to patients and healthcare professionals. We will then analyse whether and when an Ethics Consultant can be held liable for violation of a civil or criminal law. Finally, starting from the analysis of the jurisprudential evolution and the healthcare legislation reforms, we will propose a discipline applicable to the Ethics Consultant’s activity in case of damage to a patient. According to this perspective, we will illustrate why the formal and juridical acknowledgement of the Ethics Consultant’s activity can define the contents of his actual role in the care process while helping to spread the CEC culture as a dialogic process meant to effectively improve health care through the identification, analysis and resolution of ethical dilemmas in clinical practice.

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Published
2020-11-03
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Original Articles
Keywords:
clinical ethics consultation, ethics consultant, legal accountability
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How to Cite
Ceruti, S., & Picozzi, M. (2020). Legal accountability in Clinical Ethics Consultation. Medicina E Morale, 69(3), 371-389. https://doi.org/10.4081/mem.2020.708