Medical Ethics

Several times each year, I give a seminar to roughly 50 doctors on medical ethics. What surprises me is that what medical ethics experts write about has little to do with the ethical issues doctors face on a day-to-day basis. Most medical ethics issues arise not because of new technologies or strange circumstances. They arise because we often surrender to the judgment of those closest to the situation to committees, such as the ubiquitous medical ethics committee. But there is no evidence at all that these committees make better decisions than the people directly affected. The question is often not what is the right thing to do but who should decide what is the right thing to do.