While some of us enjoy engaging in many forms of bioethical activity, including philosophical analysis and debate, clinical ethics consultation, and empirical research, only the latter matters much to the practicing physician. Practically minded, most doctors have little concern with fine moral distinctions when faced with a patient's request for assistance in dying or a pharmaceutical company's offer to attend a product “consultation” session at a first class resort in addition to an attractive fee for participation. Physicians want to know what facts might bear on ethical questions they confront, how ethical conflicts that have an impact on patient care can be understood and resolved, and whether research reveals consistently clear, helpful findings. The following discussion offers some examples of how empirical research related to bioethical issues has provided evidence and guides for physicians at both individual-patient care and policy levels, and further reviews areas that warrant continued research attention.
Frader, J. (2007), "The Significance of Empirical Bioethics for Medical Practice: A Physician's Perspective", Jacoby, L. and Siminoff, L.A. (Ed.) Empirical Methods for Bioethics: A Primer (Advances in Bioethics, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 21-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1479-3709(07)11002-5
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