Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Conclusion The most important issue remains: Whether attorneys should serve on HECs? Will they tend to inhibit the development of other discussions, ethical discussions, regarding the issues brought before the HEC? D. Niemira (17, p. 982) suggests that what a hospital needs is not necessarily an attorney to help in their ethical deliberations, but an ethicist. This suggestion should receive further analysis. What types of ethical deliberations to which attorneys have not been exposed in their legal training are important given the broader attorney-role (beyond giving legal opinion) in HEC discussions? The pro-active attorney faces many challenges, both in the current setting (as cases are brought to the HEC) and as future questions are raised (due to innovations in medical technology). These questions remain unclarified by the courts. The nature of the attorney's role is ever challenging; he or she remains in a key position that is currently needed (regarding the uncharted areas of HEC decisionmaking) and important for the future (as new cases emerge and require extensive deliberations).
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