Original Article

Challenges of hospital ethics committees: a phenomenological study


Medical ethics committees play an important role in examining and resolving ethical problems in hospitals by developing ethical guidelines and making ethical decisions. This study aimed at investigating the challenges that these committees typically face.This qualitative phenomenological study was conducted in 2020. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with purposive sampling and participation of 19 ethics committees’ members in Tehran hospitals. Then, data were analyzed by the content analysis method using MAXQDA-10 software. Challenges of hospital ethics committees were classified into three main themes including external factors, intra-organizational factors, and ethics committee structure, in addition to six sub-themes including inadequate supervision, lack of instructions, organizational culture, human resources, nature of the committee, and ineffectiveness of committees’ decisions.Since many challenges are faced by ethics committees, plans should be developed and implemented to fulfill the following purposes: (i) strengthen the position of these committees in hospitals, (ii) continuous supervision over the formation and holding of the committees, (iii) their operation process, (iv) their decision-making process, and (v) process of sharing committees’ decisions with all hospital stakeholders and staff.

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IssueVol 14 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/jmehm.v14i26.8282
Ethics committees Medical ethics Professional ethics Ethical issues Qualitative research

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How to Cite
Raoofi S, Arefi S, Khodayari Zarnaq R, Azimi Nayebi B, Seyyed Mousavi MS. Challenges of hospital ethics committees: a phenomenological study. J Med Ethics Hist Med. 2021;14.