Certification and evaluation of the clinical ethics consultant

A proposal for Italy

Mario Picozzi1, Alessandra Gasparetto1, Federico Nicoli1 and Renzo Pegoraro2

1Centro di Ricerca in Etica Clinica, Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Varese, Italy

2Pontificia Accademia per la Vita, Città del Vaticano


Clinical ethics, as a sub-discipline of bioethics, is subject to growing professionalization in North America, Europe and elsewhere. Since the goal of clinical ethics is the identification, analysis and resolution of ethical dilemmas and conflicts in health care settings, specific competencies for practitioners and criteria to evaluate them are strongly needed. Regarding clinical ethics consultation (CEC) many efforts have been made by American clinical ethicists and scholars to delineate the core knowledge and skills to perform it, to settle specific professional responsibilities and tasks and to identify the fundamental training and quality requirements that candidates and actual professionals should satisfy in order to serve as ethics consultants. Starting from the analysis of two meaningful international experiences, the one American and the other German, the paper discusses the process of certification of the clinical ethics consultant and encourages its implementation in the Italian context trying to outline a model which is suited to it.

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Ann Ist Super Sanità 2018 | Vol. 54, No. 1: 61-66 DOI: 10.4415/ANN_18_01_12