Interdisciplinary hospital ethics committees have been the most common response to the mandates for ethical review procedures set forth by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO, 1995 Standards), the American Hospital Association, and within institutions themselves. A 1989 national survey reported that 60% of hospitals had ethics committees. However, little is still known about the current state of these committees in hospitals, their composition, what functions are performed, or what issues are discussed.
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