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Clinical Ethics Committees in Norway: What Do They Do, and Does It Make a Difference?

  • REIDUN FØRDE and REIDAR PEDERSEN
Extract

The first clinical ethics committees (CEC) in Norway were established in 1996. This started as an initiative from hospital clinicians, the Norwegian Medical Association, and health authorities and politicians. Norwegian hospitals are, by and large, publicly funded through taxation, and all inpatient treatment is free of charge. Today, all the 23 hospital trusts (providing specialized and hospital-based healthcare services to the Norwegian population of 4.9 million people) have established at least one committee. Center for Medical Ethics (SME), University of Oslo, receives an annual amount of US$335,000 from the Ministry of Health and Care Services to coordinate the committees and to facilitate competency building for committee members.

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1. Pedersen, R, Førde, R.Hva gjør de kliniske etikkomiteene? [What are the clinical ethics committees doing?] Tidsskrift for Den norske lægeforening 2005;125(22):3127–9 (in Norwegian); Pedersen, R, Akre, V, Førde, R.Barriers and challenges in clinical ethics consultations: The experiences of nine clinical ethics committees. Bioethics 2009a;23(8):460–9; Pedersen, R, Førde, R. Fuzzy law encountering life, death, and morality: A report on nine clinical ethics committees’ legal considerations. In: Grunnin, J, Holm, S, Kerway, I.Ethics, Law & Society. Ashgate Publishing; 2009:149–63; Pedersen, R, Akre, V, Forde, R.What is happening during case deliberations in clinical ethics committees? A pilot study. Journal of Medical Ethics 2009b;35:147–52; Førde, R, Pedersen, R, Akre, R.Clinicians’ evaluation of clinical ethics consultations in Norway: A qualitative study. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 2008;11:17–25.

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7. Kliniske etikk-komiteer [Clinical ethics committees]; available at http://www.med.uio.no/iasam/sme/kek/manual/ (last accessed 9 Dec 2010).

8. See note 1, Pedersen, Førde 2005.

9. See note 1, Pedersen et al. 2009a.

10. See note 1, Førde et al. 2008.

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics
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