Consultation-liaison psychiatrists on bioethics committees: Opportunities for academic leadership
ABSTRACT This article briefly reviews the history of the relationship between psychiatry and the leadership of ethics committees as a background for examining appropriate educational initiatives to adequately prepare residents and early career psychiatrists to serve as leaders of ethics committees.
A Medline review of literature on psychiatry and ethics committees and consultation as well as recent survey data from the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine indicate that psychosomatic medicine psychiatrists are particularly qualified and interested in serving as chairs of ethics committees. The authors compare knowledge and skills obtained in psychiatric training with the Society for Heath and Human Values and the Society for Bioethics Consultation Task Force on standards for ethics consultation proposed as core competencies for ethics committee leadership.
Psychiatric residency and fellowship training in psychosomatic medicine can provide the knowledge and skill sets to meet the standards for ethics consultation. Further professional development through pursuit of formal ethics training, advance degrees in bioethics, mentoring, and residency and felloships focus on ethics and enhance competency, confidence, and the skills required for ethics committee leadership.
Academic psychiatrists, particularly those in psychosomatic medicine, have historically made a significant contribution as chairs of ethics committees. Continuation and expansion of this leadership may require interested psychiatrists to obtain additional training in bioethics.
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ABSTRACT: General Hospital Ethics Committees (GHECs) have emerged as institutional forums for addressing bioethical dilemmas. Hospital psychiatrists have important roles to play on these committees. Their skills in group process assessment, mental status examination, and character assessment have diverse applications. Psychiatrists can facilitate communication, both on the committee and as GHEC-based clinical ethics consultants. Ethics committees must be concerned with how they arrive at ethical decisions, guarding against political influence or individual monopolization. Psychiatrists can assist these efforts as organizational consultants to GHECs. The perception of psychiatrists as reflective, tolerant of ambiguity, humanizing, and approachable about moral aspects of health care suggests they would make excellent committee leaders. Hospital psychiatrists also have important committee roles to play as ethics educators and policy-makers. More demographic research is needed to investigate psychiatrists' participation on GHECs. Studies of how they are perceived by their ethics committee colleagues may reveal new roles and potential pitfalls for GHEC psychiatrists.General Hospital Psychiatry 02/1992; 14(1-14):29-35. DOI:10.1016/0163-8343(92)90023-4 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Some individual Australian psychiatrists have held influential positions in the administration of health care, academic institutions and medical research. It is timely to assess whether individual or group action best meets psychiatry's professional and service needs. Through an exploration of aspects of professionalism, power, leadership, change in the nature and control of health care, and psychiatry's political roles, a case is made for corporate action aimed at psychiatry establishing leadership roles in Australian health care.Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 07/1986; 20(2):107-11. DOI:10.3109/00048678609161323 · 3.77 Impact Factor