Proposal for a Hospital Ethics Committee at the Hacettepe University Hospitals, Turkey: A Mixed Method Study

Introduction: Hospital Ethics Committees (HECs) were established to solve the ethical dilemmas experienced by health personnel in clinics. However, HECs also provide training on ethics, and develop ethics guidelines and institutional policies. HECs first appeared in the USA in the 1960s and had become widespread in Europe by the 1990s. In Turkey, the introduction of HECs is relatively recent and the number of committees is limited. The aim of this study was to identify the need for a HEC at the Hacettepe University Hospitals (HUHs) and to develop an appropriate model for the HEC. Methods: Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used. As a part of the qualitative research, focus group interviews were conducted with physicians in the intensive care unit of the HUHs. Survey forms were prepared, with reference to the data, which were collected during these interviews. The quantitative research was conducted by distributing survey forms to all physicians working at the HUHs. Data were evaluated using SPSS v.11.5 software. Results: In total, 250 surveys were completed (participation ratio 25%). Physicians who participated in the research confirmed the need for an organization to provide training on ethics, to prepare ethics guidelines and to help solve ethical dilemmas. Conclusion: Here a model for a HEC is proposed, with reference to the needs and suggestions of the physicians who work at the HUHs

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