Environments that support ethical practice

C. H. Rushton, J. Brooks-Brunn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Our healthcare system is fundamentally flawed in the ability to provide quality end-of-life care. The provision of quality end-of-life care involves a complex interaction of personal, professional, and societal values and practices. Attention to each dimension of end-of-life care is essential to improve the care of the dying patient and his/her family. Given the complexity of this problem, this article focuses on the critical care environment and the aspect of organizational culture and specific strategies for improvement. Several inter-related components of an environment which may foster ethical thinking, decision-making, and behaviors are discussed including organizational culture, individual agency, collaboration, and educational resources. Every member of the healthcare team has the responsibility to be a catalyst for creating a critical care environment where ethical practice is expected and rewarded rather than punished and suppressed. As a healthcare team, our ultimate goal is to provide healing and humane end-of-life care for all patients and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalNew Horizons: Science and Practice of Acute Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 27 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • end-of-life care
  • ethics
  • organizational ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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