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Moral case deliberation
  1. Daniel Y B Tan1,
  2. Bastiaan C ter Meulen1,2,
  3. Albert Molewijk3,4,
  4. Guy Widdershoven3
  1. 1Department of Neurology, OLVG Locatie West, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Zaans Medical Center, Zaandam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Medical Humanities, VU University Medical Center (VUmc), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4Center for Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bastiaan C ter Meulen, Department of Neurology, Zaans Medical Center, Zaandam 1502 DV, The Netherlands; bas.termeulen{at}


Ethical dilemmas in general are characterised by a choice between two mutually excluding options neither of which is satisfactory, because there always will be a form of moral damage. Within the context of medicine several ethics support services have been developed to support healthcare professionals in dealing with ethical dilemmas, including moral case deliberation. In this article, we describe how moral case deliberation works in daily practice, illustrated with a case example from the neurology ward. The article is meant as an introduction to moral case deliberation according to the dilemma method. We show its relevance to the clinic and the context needed to put it into practice.

  • quality of life
  • stroke
  • coma
  • ethics
  • icu

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  • Contributors DYBT, case and stepwise description of the moral case deliberation. BCM, design, introduction, discussion. AM and GW, coauthorship discussion and revision of previous versions.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned. Externally peer reviewed. This paper was reviewed by John Saunders, Abergavenny, UK, and Tom Hughes, Cardiff, UK.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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