Research at CHE

Research conducted by the Stockholm Centre for Healthcare Ethics at Karolinska Institutet.

Focus of research

CHE covers ethical issues relating to clinical ethics and research ethics. This amounts to a very wide spectrum of topics, of which the following are among the most pivotal.

Healthcare priorities

Healthcare prioritisation is an ever-present issue. The need for prioritisation has grown in recent years, due to several new and expensive treatments becoming available. The purpose of this project is to critically examine three central prioritisation principles - the needs principle, the cost-benefit principle and the responsibility principle - in order to find out how they should be understood and what moral relevance they possess. One aim of the project is for the analyses to facilitate practical prioritisation work in healthcare.

Patients' rights

The present debate on medical ethics strongly emphasises the patient perspective. We are researching patients autonomy and personal integrity (including, among other things, the way in which healthcare services handle and ought to handle patients whose decision-making competence is hard to assess), but also the implications of meeting, respectively, with a good and a bad response in healthcare, the potential consequences of response and ways in which healthcare can develop towards better response to patients.

Research ethics

It is important that research should conform to accepted scientific practices, for the sake of both the advancement of knowledge and the potential benefit of research to society. But research-ethical scandals are following hot on each others tails the world over, and Sweden too has its fair share of them. Within CHE we conduct research into research ethics, and one current project is partly concerned with the grey zones of research and with the management of co-authorship in scientific publications.

Other CHE research topics at present include the boundaries of medicine (how far is healthcare to be taken - how permissible is the modification of human beings?), ethical criteria for early end points in clinical studies, and ethical aspects of end-of-life care.