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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


LYNCH PUEYRREDON, Dolores et al. Survey on bioethics in a pediatric hospital: Basis for new strategies. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2004, vol.64, n.1, pp.37-42. ISSN 0025-7680.

Although medical ethics is part of medicine since its beginning, it is only in the last decades that it is recognized as a necessary discipline. A survey of pediatricians of Hospital de Niños Ricardo Gutiérrez was carried out to determine a) the knowledge of basic concepts of bioethics  b)the place and function of the committee. A total of 150 surveys were given out, 90 responses were obtained (60%). Basic concepts of bioethics (definition of bioethics, end of life, autonomy, justice, beneficence, and informed consent) were correctly answered by 75.2%; 97.8% knew of the existence of the committee in the hospital, it had been consulted by 61.1%. From the group that had consulted the recommendations suggested by the committee to solve the ethical dilemma was considered: useful by 23.6%, partially useful by 45.5% and not useful by 27.3%; 37.8% had never consulted the committee. Of these, 64.7% had never had a dilemma, 11.7% considered not useful any possible answer of the committee, and 11.7% did not give a reason. The majority of the responders had appropriate information of the basic bioethical concepts. Both the index of consultation to the committee and the assessment of its judgements as totally or partially useful (69.1%) guarantee its presence. It is peculiar that the principal argument for not consulting the committee was the absence of dilemmas. Both the committee in the hospital and the universities should intensify the teaching of medical ethics (mainly practical ethics), in order to facilitate the detection of ethical dilemmas by the health team.

Keywords : bioethics; survey; pediatrics.

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