Ethics consultation is the most engaged aspect of clinical ethics, a field focused on ethical issues, questions, and conflicts arising in the course of patient care and delivery of healthcare services. Despite the skepticism of some academic bioethicists and criticism expressed by social commentators, clinical ethics, which began in North America, has expanded to Europe and many other parts of the world with the proliferation of healthcare institution ethics and ethics consultation support services. Along with the development and implementation of ethics policies and guidelines for patient care through work on hospital ethics committees, clinical ethicists are increasingly involved in the ethics of healthcare organizational structures and processes and the day to day provision of ethics consultative services to health professionals, patients, and families.
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