Article

Ethics Committees in Services for People with Learning Disabilities: Reflections across Europe

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Abstract

This commentary outlines research in the UK, briefly counterpointed against approaches used in the USA and Italy, to show how the Dutch position is distinct. Potential hurdles to translating Dutch ideas to the UK include the discomfort many staff express when invited to consider how they relate to clients, and an increasingly legalistic culture which encourages people to want more certainty than an ethics committee can properly deliver. It concludes by identifying two issues that practice ethics committees might also consider: preventative work at a societal level, and going beyond residential situations to consider the complex ethical issues encountered in service relationships with people who live at home with their families.

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