Reasoning Backwards by Design: Commentary on "Moral Reasoning among HEC Members"

Ashley L. Stephens, Elizabeth Heitman

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


Empirical assessment of the practice of clinical ethics is made difficult by the limited standardization of settings, structures, processes, roles, and training for ethics consultation, as well as by whether individual ethics consultants or hospital ethics committees (HECs) provide consultation. Efforts to study the relationship between theory and practice in the work of HECs likewise require the spelling out of assumptions and definition of key variables, based in knowledge of the core concepts of clinical ethics and logistics of clinical consultation. The survey of HEC members reported by Wasserman and colleagues illustrates the difficulty of such research and calls attention to need for studies of real-time, complex decision making to inform conclusions about how theory affects practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-120
Number of pages3
JournalThe Journal of clinical ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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