Dissertation Abstract

Institutional Ethics Committees: A Function of Organizational Characteristics.

Publication Number:  AG0567793
Author:  Winston, Lois
School:  University Of Southern California
Date:  1989
Pages:  unknown
Subject:  Management

Ethics committees protect patients by ensuring that they receive assistance in asserting their rights as autonomous decision-makers. Previous research has studied the determinants of ethics committee formation using size, location and technology. This research identified the organizational characteristics associated with the presence of an ethics committee in 108 short-term general hospitals in Southern California. Ten variables were used to operationalize the constructs of structure, strategy, technology and processes. The most important explanatory variables were size and hospice affiliation.

Future research is needed to more fully understand the role of ethics committees in the medical decision-making process, particularly when there is a conflict of value systems.

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