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Ethics rounds: affecting ethics quality at all organisational levels
  1. Dagmar Schmitz1,
  2. Dominik Groß1,
  3. Charlotte Frierson1,
  4. Gerrit A Schubert2,
  5. Henna Schulze-Steinen3,
  6. Alexander Kersten4
  1. 1Department of History, Theory and Ethics in Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  3. 3Department of Surgical Intensive Medicine and Intermediate Care, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  4. 4Department of Cardiology, Angiology and Internal Intensive Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dagmar Schmitz, Department of History, Theory and Ethics in Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany; daschmitz{at}


Clinical ethics support (CES) services are experiencing a phase of flourishing and of growing recognition. At the same time, however, the expectations regarding the acceptance and the integration of traditional CES services into clinical processes are not met. Ethics rounds as an additional instrument or as an alternative to traditional clinical ethics support strategies might have the potential to address both deficits. By implementing ethics rounds, we were able to better address the needs of the clinical sections and to develop a more comprehensive account of ethics quality in our hospital, which covers the level of decisions and actions, and also the level of systems and processes and aspects of ethical leadership.

  • clinical ethics
  • ethics committees/consultation

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  • Contributors All authors included on the paper fulfil the criteria for authorship (in accordance with the ICMJE recommendations).

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

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

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