Article Text

other Versions

Can we accredit hospital ethics? A tentative proposal
  1. Min-Hua Wu1,
  2. Chih-Hsien Liao2,
  3. Wen-Ta Chiu3,
  4. Ching-Ying Lin4,
  5. Che-Ming Yang3,4
  1. 1Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2Graduate Institute of Health Care Organization Administration, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  3. 3Taipei Medical University, College of Medicine and School of Health Care Administration, Taipei, Taiwan
  4. 4Taipei Medical University, Shuang Ho Hospital and School of Health Care Administration, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Che-Ming Yang, Taipei Medical University School of Healthcare Administration, No 250, Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan, cyang{at}


Objectives The objective of this research was to develop ethics accreditation standards for hospitals.

Research design Our research methods included a literature review, an expert focus group, the Delphi technique and a hospital survey. The entire process was separated into two stages: (1) the development of a draft of hospital ethics accreditation standards; and (2) conducting a nationwide hospital survey of the proposed standards.

Results This study produced a tentative draft of hospital ethics accreditation standards comprised of six chapters and 62 standards based on the expert focus group and Delphi technique. The six chapters are: Medical ethics policies, regulations and leadership; The establishment and operation of a medical ethics committee; The establishment and operation of research-related ethics committees; Medical ethics education; Organisational ethical climate; and Respect for patients' rights and establishment of good hospital-patient relationships. The hospital survey indicated that the concept of an organisational ethical climate was new to most hospital managers, most hospitals disliked the idea of having a separate hospital ethics accreditation system, and small hospitals were concerned about their ability to comply with all of the standards.

Conclusions Regardless of whether hospital ethics accreditation can be a stand-alone accreditation or just part of existing hospital accreditation programmes, we hope this draft can serve as a good reference for future endeavours by hospital accreditation authorities.

Statistics from


  • Funding The authors would like to acknowledge the research grant (DOH96-TD-M-113-047) funded by the Department of Health, Taiwan (ROC).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.