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Clinical & Medical Ethics


The ethics of the relationship between physicians and patients has been explored since the establishment of the Hippocratic Oath in the 4th century BC. Ethical issues addressed in clinical and medical ethics include the right of conscience for healthcare professionals, the role of the professional in decision-making, patient autonomy, and informed consent particularly as they find expression in the daily practice of medicine. Additionally, this section includes practical Christian analysis of care issues that arise at the bedside. For resources exploring the broader topics of healthcare allocation and economics, as well as models of healthcare delivery, please see our healthcare resources.


  • Michael Sleasman, “Bioethics Past, Present, and Future: Important Signposts in Human Dignity” (An overview of bioethics and the breadth of issues it encompasses).
  • Lauris Kaldjian, “Practicing Medicine and Ethics.”
  • Susan Haack, “The Promises and Perils of Technological Progress in Healthcare.”
  • Robert Orr, “Competence, Capacity, and Surrogate Decision-Making.”
  • Robert Orr, “Addressing Issues of Moral Complicity: When? Where? Why? and Other Questions.”
  • Allen Roberts, “Futility Recast: Do New Consensus Statements Resolve the Old Debate?”
  • Edward Grant, “Cruzan at 25, Schiavo at 10: Legal Fictions It Is Time to Outgrow.”
  • For analysis of specific cases and questions within clinical & medical ethics, see our case studies.


Position Statement