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May 11, 1994

Variations in Recommendations of Ethics Consultants-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1994;271(18):1403-1404. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510420035027

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In Reply.  —Had our survey respondents felt they needed additional information to select an appropriate recommendation, as Drs Moseley and McCrary suggest, we assume they would have indicated this on their questionnaires by selecting option E (other) and/or by commenting under "explain or qualify your recommendation." Instead, most respondents gave specific recommendations in response to every vignette, and few criticized the questionnaire format in general or its lack of detail in particular.Although it is impossible to accurately and concisely summarize the hundreds of comments we received, we are happy to provide a few of many possible examples in support of our conclusion of "wide variability in ethics consultants' recommendations."Regarding vignette 2 (patient did not want to be kept alive, family members want everything possible done to prolong life), 57% of the respondents selected option A (discontinue fluid and nutrition). Of these, most justified their recommendation by citing the

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