Grassroots Origins, National Engagement: Exploring the Professionalization of Practicing Healthcare Ethicists in Canada

Frolic, Andrea
September 2012
HEC Forum;Sep2012, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p153
Academic Journal
Canadian ethicists have a long legacy of leadership in advocating for standards and quality in healthcare ethics. Continuing this tradition, a grassroots organization of practicing healthcare ethicists (PHEs) concerned about the lack of standardization in the field recently formed to explore potential options related to professionalization. This group calls itself 'practicing healthcare ethicists exploring professionalization' (PHEEP). This paper provides a description of the process by which PHEEP has begun to engage the Canadian PHE community in the development of practice standards and related projects. By making our process and its ethical and cultural underpinnings transparent, we hope to prompt PHEs around the world to reflect on the importance of context, process and principles (not just outcomes) in the exploration of and possible movement towards professionalization. By sharing some of our key successes and challenges, we also hope to inspire our colleagues to recognize the value in developing practice standards and to contribute to this endeavor.


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