The authors have no conflict of interest to report.
A Clinician's Approach to Clinical Ethical Reasoning
Version of Record online: 9 FEB 2005
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 20, Issue 3, pages 306–311, March 2005
How to Cite
Kaldjian, L. C., Weir, R. F. and Duffy, T. P. (2005), A Clinician's Approach to Clinical Ethical Reasoning. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20: 306–311. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.40204.x
- Issue online: 13 APR 2005
- Version of Record online: 9 FEB 2005
- Accepted for publication July 1, 2004
- clinical ethics;
- decision making;
- ethical analysis;
- professional education;
- ethical pluralism
We offer a systematic strategy that situates clinical ethical reasoning within the paradigm of clinical reasoning. The trajectory of this strategy parallels clinical reasoning: a plain statement of the initial problem, careful gathering of data, a differential diagnostic assessment, and articulation and confirmation of a justified plan. This approach pays special attention to the goals of medical care, because so much depends on whether or not physician and patient share the same goals. This approach also addresses the heterogeneity of clinical problems that at first appear ethical and acknowledges the ethical pluralism that pervades clinical ethics.