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Ethical Reasoning in Mixed Nurse-Physician Groups

Søren Holm, Peter Gjersøe, Glenn Grode, Ole Hartling, Karen E. Ibsen and Henrik Marcussen
Journal of Medical Ethics
Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jun., 1996), pp. 168-173
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27717759
Page Count: 6
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Ethical Reasoning in Mixed Nurse-Physician Groups
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Abstract

Objectives — To study the ethical reasoning of nurses and physicians, and to assess whether or not modified focus groups are a valuable tool for this purpose. Design — Discussion of cases in modified focus groups, each consisting of three physicians and three nurses. The discussion was taped and analysed by content analysis. Setting — Five departments of internal medicine at Danish hospitals. Sample — Seven discussion groups. Main measurements — Ethical content of statements, style of statements, time used by each participant. Results — Danish physicians and nurses do not differ in the kind of ethical reasoning they use, but physicians use more of the discussion time than nurses, they use a more assertive style of argumentation, and the solutions chosen are usually first put forward by physicians. Conclusion — The results and informal comparisons with similar data from long qualitative interviews indicate that groups of this kind are a useful tool for gathering data on ethical reasoning.

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