Standards of practice in empirical bioethics research: Towards a consensus

Jonathan Ives*, Michael Dunn, Bert Molewijk, Jan Schildmann, Kristine Bærøe, Lucy Frith, Richard Huxtable, Elleke Landeweer, Marcel Mertz, Veerle Provoost, Annette Rid, Sabine Salloch, Mark Sheehan, Daniel Strech, Martine De Vries, Guy Widdershoven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
446 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: This paper reports the process and outcome of a consensus finding project, which began with a meeting at the Brocher Foundation in May 2015. The project sought to generate and reach consensus on standards of practice for Empirical Bioethics research. The project involved 16 academics from 5 different European Countries, with a range of disciplinary backgrounds.

METHODS: The consensus process used a modified Delphi approach.

RESULTS: Consensus was reached on 15 standards of practice, organised into 6 domains of research practice (Aims, Questions, Integration, Conduct of Empirical Work, Conduct of Normative Work; Training & Expertise).

CONCLUSIONS: Through articulating these standards we outline a position that encourages responses, and through those responses we will be able to identify points of agreement and contestation that will drive the conversation forward. In that vein, we would encourage researchers, funders and journals to engage with what we have proposed, and respond to us, so that our community of practice of empirical bioethics research can develop and evolve further.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
Number of pages20
JournalBMC Medical Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018


  • Consensus
  • Empirical bioethics
  • Methodology
  • Methods
  • Standards


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