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AbstractThis paper draws on data from the second part of a pilot project to study the effectiveness of ethics committees in Canadian hospitals....In the second part of the research project, five committees were contacted, and their cooperation was solicited for an in-depth study. All of the committees agreed to participate and were generous of their time and effort. These committees were chosen in part because their responses to the original survey indicated that they were among the most active. Three were located in eastern Canada; two were in the West. Two of the committees operated in Roman Catholic hospitals, and the other three were in hospitals without religious affiliation. All five committees had been in existence for at least 5 years at the time they agreed to participate, and some could trace their roots considerably further back. To obtain an accurate picture of what these ethics committees were actually doing, each was asked to complete a monthly report on all committee activities over a 6-month period. At the end of the reporting period, the two authors visited each hospital to interview members of the committees, users and nonusers of the committees' services, administrators, and professionals working in the facilities, all with the intention of determining what the various parties thought about the effectiveness of the committees.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1994 Summer; 3(3): 467-477.