The Woodstock Theological Center, Washington, conducted two workshop series designed to provide ethical guidance to health care providers and managed care organizations.
The Woodstock Theological Center, located at Georgetown University, is a nonprofit research institute established by the Society of Jesus to address topics of social and political importance from a theological and ethical perspective.
- Some 45 participants in workshops held from December 1992 through April 1994, identified the new arrangements under which health care professionals now work and discussed the types of ethical dilemmas they are likely to face.
These discussions led to a consensus statement, Ethical Considerations in the Business Aspects of Health Care, which was published as a monograph by Georgetown University Press in 1995.
The consensus statement concludes that:
- The changing business context in which health care professionals practice today presents new ethical conflicts and redefines others.
- Compassion and respect for human dignity and commitment to professional competence are among the principles that form the basis of ethical decision-making.
- Some 54 people participated in a second workshop series held from May 1997 through April 1998 on ethical issues confronting the governing boards and executives of managed health care organizations. The participants concluded that:
- Managing the relationships between patients and providers is at the heart of managed care and that this presents executives, clinicians, and other decision-makers with a continual stream of competing demands, value conflicts, and goal conflicts.
- This may, however, be the source of managed care's strength in the long run, since it can provide an institutional mechanism through which these conflicts can be worked out in a balanced, equitable, and ethical way.
Georgetown University Press published the consensus monograph that emerged, Ethical Issues in Managed Care Organizations in 1999. Both monographs are available for purchase through the Woodstock Center and its Web site.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with three grants totaling $451,783 between July 1982 and June 1990.
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