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In their recent work, Kok et al propose a theoretical framework for the evaluation of clinical ethical case interventions, in particular moral case deliberation (MCD).1 According to the authors, this framework provides ‘empirically accessible hypothesis that describe the relationship between MCD and care quality at the organisational level’.1
Evaluation of ethical interventions in healthcare is an important topic. As Donabedian has noted, evaluation can be understood as defining reasonable quality expectations and to check by means of empirical research whether and to what extent these expectations have been met.2 If suitable for ethical interventions like MCDs, the carefully compiled framework by Kok et al would surely present a major step towards satisfying the requirements outlined by Donabedian. However, caution is in order whether this holds true.
The authors start by observing that most of the recent research regarding the evaluation of MCD tends to follow a paradigm that can be outlined by two premises. First, focusing on quality is justified by the need to provide a rationale for an intervention’s consumption of resources.3 Second, this implies research that is usually centred around the quality …
Funding The author has 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.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.