chapter  11
12 Pages

Beyond listening or telling: moral case deliberation as a hermeneutic approach to clinical ethics support


The role of the ethicist in clinical ethics consultation has long been the object of debate. 1 The central question governing this debate is: Should the clinical ethicist listen or tell? (Zaner, 1996). In line with the two options distinguished by Zaner, Edwards and Liaschenko describe two models of clinical ethics (Edwards and Liaschenko, 2003). In the ‘modest’ model, the clinical ethicist is primarily seen as a mediator who does not provide direct answers but helps people to focus on important issues and facilitates a dialogue between health care professionals. By contrast, the ‘immodest model’ sees the ethicist as an expert who gives answers and provides solutions. In our view, both models are problematic.