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Consensus is an important topic in bioethics. Approaches to consensus formation developed over the last decade to establish standards of clinical practice are now extended to moral issues. Healthcare ethics committees, ethics advisory boards, and national ethics committees aim at creating and formulating consensus. The essays in this volume analyse the various dimensions of consensus formation. They demonstrate the clinical, institutional and political context of consensus regarding ethical issues.
Consensus formation as a dialogic and discursive activity is also deeply influenced by the socio-cultural context, as examples from Europe, Japan and the U.S. illustrate. Specific problems in consensus formation are discussed in regard to genetic counseling, psychiatry, treatment decisions in family medicine, futility, and reproductive technology. The essays in the volume explore the potentials and problems of forming consensus at various levels of health care in modern pluralist societies.
Introduction: Consensus Formation in Healthcare Ethics; H.A.M.J. ten Have, H.-M. Sass. Part I: Consensus Formation and Healthcare. Ethical Consensus Formation in Clinical Cases; R.M. Veatch. The Process of Coherence Formation in Healthcare Ethics Committees. The Consensus Process, Social Authority, and Ethical Judgments; S.F. Spicker. Consensus Formation and Healthcare Policy; H.A.M.J. ten Have. Part II: Cultures and Consensus Formation. Contemporary Trends in Healthcare Ethics; H.R. Wulff. Moral Deliberation and Moral Warfare: Consensus Formation in a Pluralistic Society; H. Zwart. Consensus Formation in Bioethical Decisionmaking in Japan: Present Contexts and Future Perspectives; A. Sakai. Finding a Voice for Bioethics in Public Policy: Federal Initiatives in the United States, 1974-1991; R.M. Cook-Deegan. Part III: Consensus Formation in Practice. Decision-Making and Consensus Formation in Clinical Ethics; J.F. Drane. Action Driven Consensus Formation; H.-M. Sass. Dissent and Dissensus: The Limits of Consensus Formation in Psychiatry; K.W.M. Fulford. Consensus Formation in Genetic Counseling; G. Allert, et al. Obtaining Consent from the Family: A Horizon for Clinical Ethics; S. Spinsanti. Consensus and Futility of Treatment: Some Policy Suggestions; C. Hackler. Shaping Reproductive Technology Policy: The Search for Consensus; A. Donchin. Notes on Contributors. Index.