Ethics and Patient oriented Care in Oncology (NCT-EPOC)
Group leader: Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Eva Winkler
Due to the impressing medical and technical progress and structural changes in health care, ethical issues in oncology and research constantly gain importance. Such issues include the informed consent process in research, the patient’s rights and the right to self-determination or the ethical justification of expensive treatments when resources are limited in health care. The concept of Empirical Ethics is combines empirical studies in patient care and research with ethical analysis (cf. figure 1).
Figure 1: Model of empirical ethics that starts with the clinical or research question that causes moral distress, specifies the ethical question based on empirical research and leads to an ethical analysis and recommendation that is finally brought back to those who need to make value laden decisions in the clinical or research setting
The empirical research allows for a detailed account of the ethical questions at stake. The ethical analysis weighs the values and ethical principles affected and develops an ethically sound recommendation. This recommendation aims at informing our decisions in the clinical or research context - be it as an aid in decision-making, as an advice or a counselling service.