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A new prescription for empirical ethics research in pharmacy: a critical review of the literature

Cooper, R.J., Bissell, P. and Wingfield, J. (2007) A new prescription for empirical ethics research in pharmacy: a critical review of the literature. Journal of Medical Ethics, 33 (2). pp. 82-86. ISSN 0306-6800


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Empirical ethics research is increasingly valued in bioethics and healthcare more generally, but there remain as yet under-researched areas such as pharmacy, despite the increasingly visible attempts by the profession to embrace additional roles beyond the supply of medicines. A descriptive and critical review of the extant empirical pharmacy ethics literature is provided here. A chronological change from quantitative to qualitative approaches is highlighted in this review, as well as differing theoretical approaches such as cognitive moral development and the four principles of biomedical ethics. Research with pharmacy student cohorts is common, as is representation from American pharmacists. Many examples of ethical problems are identified, as well as commercial and legal influences on ethical understanding and decision making. In this paper, it is argued that as pharmacy seeks to develop additional roles with concomitant ethical responsibilities, a new prescription is needed for empirical ethics research in pharmacy - one that embraces an agenda of systematic research using a plurality of methodological and theoretical approaches to better explore this under-researched discipline.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 BMJ Publishing. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Medical-ethics; General-practice; Retail Pharmacy; Dilemmas; Perspective
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 10:00
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 03:32
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jme.2005.015297
Status: Published
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1136/jme.2005.015297
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10210

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