Ethics of Communication & Ethics in Communication : An Exploratory Analysis of Advance Care Planning Encounters

Principal investigator: Dre Anca Sterie 

Duration: June 2020 - April 2021
Funding : Académie Suisse des Sciences Médicales / Fonds Käthe-Zingg-Schwichtenberg


Advance care planning (ACP) is a process aiming to facilitate communication between individuals, their therapeutic representative, and healthcare professionals (‘facilitators’) regarding healthcare preferences in the event of loss of decision-making capacity. ACP is a complex intervention, with evident ethical implications in regards to the expression and respect of personal autonomy. More research is needed to understand the range of skills that facilitators need for embarking on this mission. 


In this exploratory study, audio-recordings are used to analyze ACP encounters from the standpoint of medical ethics. First, it is  investigated whether communication during ACP responds to the principles of patient-centered medical ethics - for example, how facilitators provide and frame evidence needed for individuals to make a decision, and whether this has an informative or rather coercive nature. Second, the resources through which ethical or moral issues are raised, explored, and used as justification for specific decisions made during the ACP encounter are investigated.

Current status



4.11.2021 - Sterie AC, Rubli E, Jox R, Bernard M. "Perception des rôles professionnels et des défis associés à la conduite du Advance Care Planning". Congrès suisse de soins palliatifs, Bienne.


 Last updated on 16/08/2023 at 10:46