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Revista médica de Chile

versão impressa ISSN 0034-9887


COUCEIRO V, Azucena  e  BECA I, Juan Pablo. Legal repercussions of Clinical Ethics Committees reports. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2006, vol.134, n.4, pp.517-519. ISSN 0034-9887.

Clinical Ethics Committees and Research Ethics Committees have their own specific roles. The Clinical Ethics Committee's pronouncements have an advisory function, whereas Research Ethics Committees' decisions are binding. This article analyzes the legal impact of the Clinical Ethics Committees' reports. Legal and medical reasoning share the same practical nature. Both can have several correct answers to the same situation. Clinical Ethics Committees deliberate about these alternatives and analyze the involved values. Their conclusions are non-compulsory recommendations. They do not replace nor diminish the doctor's personal responsibility. Even though the Clinical Ethics Committees' reports are not binding, they constitute a sort of "expert's opinion", expressed by qualified professionals, who assume their own professional responsibility as advisors. The members' behavior is necessarily subject to constitutional and legal regulations. When judges review the Clinical Ethics Committee's reports, they must realize that their nature is advisory, and also consider them an essential element to reduce the gap between the medical and legal fields. In this way, the problem of increasingly transforming medicine into a legal issue can be prevented

Palavras-chave : Ethics committees, clinical; Ethics committees, research; Medico legal aspects; Professional staff committees.

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