1. Workstream VI — Establishment of online ethics consultation in psychiatric hospitals

    Complex ethical conflicts often arise in the care of psychiatric patients, for example, regarding coercion and involuntary treatment. Psychiatric professionals, patients, relatives and legal guardians can benefit particularly from clinical ethics consultation in such situations. The case discussion is moderated by a trained ethics consultant. The people involved in the case first identify the ethical conflict and then, with the help of the ethics consultant, try to make an ethically well-founded decision for the further therapeutic approach. However, there are relevant challenges regarding the systematic implementation of clinical ethics consultation in the psychiatric field, and many hospitals do not yet have access to clinical ethics consultation. Online ethics consultation is expected to reach psychiatric hospitals without their own clinical ethics services and provide low-threshold access to assistance concerning ethical questions and conflicts.

    The aim of this research project is, therefore, together with various co-operation partners, to establish an offer of online ethics consultation in psychiatry and to evaluate its implementation. In this workstream, we will:

    1. develop a concept for online ethics consultation, including practically relevant strategies for data protection, technical and logistical implementation;

    2. implement online ethics consultation in co-operating clinics; and

    3. conduct quantitative and qualitative evaluation of online ethics consultation during and after implementation.

    In this way, we want to make clinical ethics consultation in psychiatry widely accessible, improve the quality of online ethics consultation in psychiatry, investigate the impact of participation in online ethics consultation on the ethical competence of participants and gather further insights into ethical conflicts in psychiatry.