Bioethical communication

shared decision-making and relational empathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Theoretical tensions in shared decision-making (SDM) exist among bioethical principles, patient autonomy, and evidence-based medicine. Scholars in biomedicine have looked to empathy as a component of SDM that may assist in decreasing these conflicts. Method: This article outlines a theoretical foundation for incorporating relational empathy in SDM. Informed by interpersonal communication theory and bioethics, relational empathy becomes an intrinsic component in the initial phase of SDM. Results: Healthcare providers should consider developing relational empathy with their patients before they address treatment options. Relational empathy, especially in the context of values elicitation and clarification, may increase patient participation and provide more symmetrical communication opportunities. Relational empathy also assists in developing relational autonomy, which shifts the emphasis in SDM from the traditional bioethical view of the autonomous individual to a definition of autonomy that describes a person in relation with others. Conclusion: Increased opportunities for relational empathy through interpersonal communication may provide a more ethical communication context for SDM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-174
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Communication in Healthcare
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018

Fingerprint

empathy
Decision Making
Decision making
Communication
decision making
communication
interpersonal communication
autonomy
Patient Participation
Information theory
communication theory
Bioethics
biomedicine
Evidence-Based Medicine
Medicine
bioethics
Health Personnel
medicine
participation
human being

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Health Information Management

Cite this

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title = "Bioethical communication: shared decision-making and relational empathy",
abstract = "Background: Theoretical tensions in shared decision-making (SDM) exist among bioethical principles, patient autonomy, and evidence-based medicine. Scholars in biomedicine have looked to empathy as a component of SDM that may assist in decreasing these conflicts. Method: This article outlines a theoretical foundation for incorporating relational empathy in SDM. Informed by interpersonal communication theory and bioethics, relational empathy becomes an intrinsic component in the initial phase of SDM. Results: Healthcare providers should consider developing relational empathy with their patients before they address treatment options. Relational empathy, especially in the context of values elicitation and clarification, may increase patient participation and provide more symmetrical communication opportunities. Relational empathy also assists in developing relational autonomy, which shifts the emphasis in SDM from the traditional bioethical view of the autonomous individual to a definition of autonomy that describes a person in relation with others. Conclusion: Increased opportunities for relational empathy through interpersonal communication may provide a more ethical communication context for SDM.",
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Bioethical communication : shared decision-making and relational empathy. / Kirkscey, Russell.

In: Journal of Communication in Healthcare, Vol. 11, No. 3, 03.07.2018, p. 164-174.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

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