Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics


Organizational Ethics in Health Care: Principles, Cases, and Practical Solutions, Philip J. Boyle, Edwin R. DuBose, Stephen J. Ellingson, David E. Guinn, and David B. McCurdy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2001. 448 pp. $68.00.

Denise M.  Dudzinski  a1
a1 University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington

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dudzinski dm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Those of us trained in clinical ethics often find that we lack sufficient background in organizational and business ethics to help our healthcare administrators solve broad institutional issues. Organizational Ethics in Health Care: Principles, Cases, and Practical Solutions, written by five individuals from the Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics, is a valuable resource for ethics professionals who want to broaden their organizational ethics competency and enhance their service to the institution. The book combines theoretical ethical analysis with case studies and practical advice. The authors argue that “an organization is a moral being with moral responsibilities that must be met in carrying out its mission” (p. 250). The focus and goal of organizational ethics is “the study of personal and organizational moral norms and choices as they contribute to the activities and goals of an organization and to the integral human fulfillment of persons and communities” (p. 15). Throughout the book the authors use a virtue ethics approach. They offer plausible examples of how institutions can embody virtues such as honesty, integrity, and commitment to justice. Meanwhile they refrain from oversimplifying the process or denying the arduous and often thankless task of implementing an organizational ethics program.