Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-11-2018


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Henk Ten Have

Committee Member

Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Joris Gielen


ethics, pediatrics, consultation, service, quality, healthcare


Medical ethics consultations occur predominantly in the adult realm of medicine, alternatively in Pediatric Medicine there is a widespread lack of training and skilled professionals to service these requests. Most of the literature in pediatric ethics consultations revolves around mirroring adult ethics consultations. This dissertation seeks to identify and address the issues related to quality of ethics consultations in a clinical setting regarding the organizational and research settings for Pediatric Medicine, and how adopting and applying the guiding standards for ethics consultation using the Core Competencies of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities will better assist all parties to converge to a mutual beneficial outcome.

Organizationally, the relationship between the educational and knowledge based competencies increases awareness within the system to create an ethical preventative healthcare culture. Promoting ethical reflection and creating a culture of ethics may serve to prevent ethical dilemmas or mitigate their effects by implementing a quality ethics consultation service.

The main ethical dilemmas concerning pediatric consent and assent are: concept of futility during end of life care, ethics of care with surrogate decision making, neonatal genetic testing and stem cell treatment. Not only are these debatable topics, these areas in pediatrics are part of the new age of clinical ethics consultations.

Research ethics involves dignity, respect, and basic human rights. Research is multicultural and differing in all societies. The quality of ethics consultations in the research setting of pediatric medicine is a need in research ethics both nationally in the US and internationally. Creating a program where all these consultative avenues are reviewed, modified and updated regularly to our ever changing societal norms, ethics consultations will be the tool to provide education and assistance to medical staff. The success of the ethics consultations in an organization will ensure the methodology will grow and support the changing environment and prospers within the health care system.