An Ethics Expertise for Clinical Ethics Consultation



The legitimacy of clinical ethics consultation is often implied to rest on the legitimacy of moral expertise. In turn, moral expertise seems subject to many serious critiques, the success of which implies that clinical ethics consultation is illegitimate. I explore a number of these critiques, and forward “ethics expertise,” as distinct from “moral expertise,” as a way of avoiding these critiques. I argue that “ethics expertise” succeeds in avoiding most of the critiques, captures what clinical ethics consultants might justifiably do, and expresses a subject matter which can be taught and assessed.