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The importance of time in ethical decision making


Monteverde, Settimio (2009). The importance of time in ethical decision making. Nursing Ethics, 16(5):613-624.

Abstract

Departing from a contemporary novel about a boy who is going to die from leukaemia, this article shows how the dimension of time can be seen as a morally relevant category that bridges both 'dramatic' issues, which constitute the dominant focus of bioethical decision making, and 'undramatic' issues, which characterize the lived experience of patients, relatives and health care workers. The moral task of comparing the various time dimensions of a given situation is explained as an act of 'synchronizing' the clocks. Ethical sensitivity and competence are presented as core skills that allow a continuity of care in situations where dramatic issues seem to be resolved, but undramatic ones are still not addressed. A nine-step model of shared decision making is proposed as an approach to identifying critical junctures within an illness trajectory and synchronizing the clocks of the involved actors.

Abstract

Departing from a contemporary novel about a boy who is going to die from leukaemia, this article shows how the dimension of time can be seen as a morally relevant category that bridges both 'dramatic' issues, which constitute the dominant focus of bioethical decision making, and 'undramatic' issues, which characterize the lived experience of patients, relatives and health care workers. The moral task of comparing the various time dimensions of a given situation is explained as an act of 'synchronizing' the clocks. Ethical sensitivity and competence are presented as core skills that allow a continuity of care in situations where dramatic issues seem to be resolved, but undramatic ones are still not addressed. A nine-step model of shared decision making is proposed as an approach to identifying critical junctures within an illness trajectory and synchronizing the clocks of the involved actors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Issues, Ethics and Legal Aspects
Language:English
Date:September 2009
Deposited On:12 Jan 2021 08:24
Last Modified:13 Jan 2021 21:01
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0969-7330
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0969733009106653
Related URLs:https://arbor.bfh.ch/12061/
PubMed ID:19671647

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