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Table 1 Table showing included publications, with brief summary of methodology described

From: A systematic review of empirical bioethics methodologies

ID Publication reference Methodology Summary of process described
1 de Wachter M. Interdisciplinary bioethics: But where do we start? A reflection on epoche as method. Journal of medicine and philosophy 1982, 7(3): 275–288. Interdisciplinary Epoche Approach to interdisciplinary working in bioethics, not specific EB methodology
2 Hoffmaster B. Can ethnography save the life of medical ethics? Social science & medicine 1992, 35(12):1421–1431. Ethnography Data (ethnography) driven, non-specific integration and generation of normative conclusions
3 Ten Have H, Lelie, A. Medical ethics research between theory and practice. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 1998, 19(3):263–276. Normative Ethnography Ethnography based consultative approach, giving equal weight to data and ethical theory
4 Richardson J. Empirical Ethics, Or, The Poverty of Ethical Analyses in Economics and the Unwarranted Disregard of Evidence in Ethics. Working paper 120. Centre for Health Program Evaluation, Monash University 2001. Iterative Population-based Ethics (name assigned by reviewer) Consultative approach that tests and refines ethical principles in light of population views
5 Battin M. Empirical research in bioethics: the method of" oppositional collaboration. Notizie di Politeia 2001, 18(67): 15–19. Oppositional Collaboration Methodology for how researchers should approach EB as opposed to describing a research methodology
6 Martin D, Singer P. A strategy to improve priority setting in health care institutions. Health Care Analysis 2003, 11(1):59–68. Describe-evaluate-improve (name assigned by reviewer) Consultative approach that compares how a practice is with how it ought to be. No information given as to how it worked out what the practice ought to be
7 Borry P, Schotsmans P, Dierickx K. What is the role of empirical research in bioethical reflection and decision-making? An ethical analysis. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 2004, 7(1):41–53. Step-wise Empirical Contributions Proposal of how empirical data can be inputted at each stage of a typical ethical decision making process, rather than a presenting a methodology. Data is always subservient to theory
8 Molewijk B.,Stiggelbout A, Otten W, Dupois H, Kievit J. Empirical data and moral theory. A plea for integrated empirical ethics. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 2004, 7:55-69 Integrated Empirical Ethics Broadly consultative approach which aims to achieve strong interdisciplinary cooperation and the effective dissolution of the fact/value distinction. Suggests that either reflective equilibrium or pragmatic hermeneutics might be able to achieve this.
9 Reiter-Theil S. Does empirical research make bioethics more relevant? “The embedded researcheras a methodological approach. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 2004, 7(1):17–29. The Embedded Researcher Consultative approach where Information gathered by a researcher ‘embedded’ in a situation is used to inform the ethical decision from the ‘inside out’ although how exactly this is done is unclear
10 Arnason V. Sensible discussion in bioethics: Reflections on interdisciplinary research. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2005, 14(3):322–328. Complementarity Thesis Data led consultative approach which tests whether stakeholder views stand up to reason. It does not describe how normative conclusions are generated from this approach
11 Ebbesen M, Pedersen B. Using empirical research to formulate normative ethical principles in biomedicine. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 2007, 10(1):33–48. Phenomenological Hermeneutics and Wide Reflective Equilibrium Uses phenomenological hermeneutics to gather and interpret data (using a partly dialogical and partly consultative approach) and wide reflective equilibrium to conduct the analysis and to generate normative conclusions
12 Haimes E, Williams R. Sociology, ethics and the priority of the particular: learning from a case study of genetic deliberations. The British Journal of Sociology 2007, 58(3):457–476. Sociology-led Phronesis (name assigned by reviewer) Data led consultative approach where moral theory is only used to “find purchase” on the data. Unclear how normative conclusions are drawn, although it draws heavily on phronesis.
13 Draper H, Ives J. An empirical approach to bioethics: social science 'of', 'for' and 'in' bioethics research. Cognitie, Creier, Comportament. 2007, 11(2):319–330. Encounters with experience Consultative approach which utilises reflective equilibrium to integrate empirical data and ethical theory. Early and less detailed exposition of ideas presented in a later paper (17)
14 Widdershoven G, van der Scheer L. Theory and methodology of empirical ethics: a pragmatic hermeneutic perspective. In Empirical ethics in psychiatry. Edited by Widdershoven G, McMillan J, Hope T, Van Der Scheer L. Gosport: Oxford University Press; 2008:23–35. Pragmatic Hermeneutics Process involving formation of dialogue between stakeholders and an external analysis followed by the generation hypotheses for policy, which are then put back into the dialogue and refined
15 Doorn N. Applying Rawlsian approaches to resolve ethical issues: inventory and setting of a research agenda. Journal of business ethics 2009, 91(1):127–143. Wide Reflective Equilibrium and Overlapping Consensus Method for integrating data and theory. Limited detail about how the data is gathered and analysed
16 Nikku N, Eriksson B. Microethics in action. Bioethics 2006, 2(4):169–179. Microethics Investigation of ‘everyday’ ethical problems. Unclear as to how this empirical data should be integrated with theory
17 Ives J. Draper H. Appropriate methodologies for empirical bioethics: it's all relative. Bioethics 2009, 23(4):249–258. Reflective Equilibrium based on ‘Encounters with experience’ Version of the reflective equilibrium approach which gathers data by sending the researcher into the field, and seeks a balance in which data is refined by theory and theory is refined by data.
18 Leget C, Borry P, De Vries R. ‘Nobody Tosses a Dwarf! ’The Relation between the Empirical and the Normative Reexamined. Bioethics 2009, 23(4):226–235. Critical Applied Ethics Consultative process that uses empirical data throughout to constantly reassess and refine normative outcomes (different exposition of 25)
19 Parker M. Two concepts of empirical ethics. Bioethics 2009, 23(4):202–213. Teleological Expressivism Consultative process which gives a prominent role to the public legitimisation of proposed policy. Limited detail about the individual steps that comprise this process.
20 Kim S, Wall I, Stanczyk A, De Vries R. Assessing the public's views in research ethics controversies: deliberative democracy and bioethics as natural allies. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics 2009, 4(4):3–16. Deliberative Democracy A dialogical approach which differs from others as it uses lay accounts and opinions rather than specific stakeholders. The idea of this is to avoid decisions being influenced by those with a vested interest. Limited detail given on how normative conclusions are drawn in this process, but explicit about the legitimacy of conclusions being derived from democratic ideals.
21 Schleidgen S, Jungert M, Bauer R. Mission: Impossible? On empirical-normative collaboration in ethical reasoning. Ethical theory and moral practice 2010, 13(1): 59–71. Distinct Methodological Collaboration A proposal that ethicists and social scientists should work together by following the traditions of their own disciplines and putting their findings together. Limited detail about the process of actually conducting the research.
22 van Delden J, van Thiel G. Reflective equilibrium as a normative-empirical model in bioethics. In Reflective equilibrium: Essays in honour of Robert Heeger, Edited by ven der Burg W. van Willigenburg T. Dordrecht; Springer: 1998, 251–259. Normative Empirical Reflective Equilibrium A version of reflective equilibrium which uses the moral intuitions of stakeholders for its empirical data
23 Widdershoven G, Abma T, Molewijk B. Empirical ethics as dialogical practice. Bioethics 2009, 23(4):236–248. Response Evaluation Hermeneutics Dialogical process that begins by giving a voice to the least heard group of stakeholders. The aim is to reach a ‘mutual understanding’, from which normative conclusions follow.
24 Abma T, Baur V, Molewijk B, Widdershoven G. InterEthics: Towards an Interactive and Interdependent Bioethics. Bioethics 2010, 24(5): 242–255. Inter-ethics Dialogical process for decision making in concrete situations. The ethicist acts as facilitator and may draw on ethical theory to enrich the dialogue.
25 Leget C, Borry P. Empirical Ethics: The Case of Dignity in End-of-Life Decisions. Ethical Perspectives 2010, 17(2): 231–250. Critical Applied Ethics Consultative process that uses empirical data throughout to constantly reassess and refine normative outcomes (different exposition of 18)
26 Frith L. Symbiotic empirical ethics: a practical methodology. Bioethics 2012, 26(4):198–206. Symbiotic Empirical Ethics Five step consultative approach aiming to refine and develop ethical theory, based on a naturalistic ethics that sees practice and theory as symbiotically related and mutually informing.
27 De Vries M, van Leeuwen E. Reflective equilibrium and empirical data: third person moral experiences in empirical medical ethics. Bioethics 2010, 24(4):490–498 Reflective Equilibrium: Network Model with third person moral experiences Variation of wide reflective equilibrium designed to help solve ethical problems in concrete situations. Third person experiences are inputted into the equilibrium with relevant moral theory
28 Hunt M, Carnevale F. Moral experience: a framework for bioethics research. Journal of medical ethics 2011, 37(11):658–662. Moral experience hermeneutics (name assigned by reviewer) Methodology designed to understand the moral practice of a population and therefore does not fully explore how to generate normative conclusions.
29 Landeweer E, Tineke A, Widdershoven G. Moral margins concerning the use of coercion in psychiatry. Nursing ethics 2011, 18(3):304–316. Dialogical hermeneutics for enhanced stakeholder understanding/Inter-ethics Dialogical approach that is very similar to inter-ethics (24)
30 Schicktanz S, Schweda M, Wynne, B. The ethics ofpublic understanding of ethics’—why and how bioethics expertise should include public and patientsvoices. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 2012,15(2):129–139. Ethics of public understanding Proposed tool for making decisions that are congruent with the views of those affected. Uses a consultative approach to gather data but is unclear about how this is analysed and used to make decisions
31 Dunn M, Sheehan M, Parker M, Hope T. Toward methodological innovation in empirical ethics research. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2012, 21(4):466–480. Grounded moral analysis A constructivist account that aims for full integration of empirical analysis and normative analysis to develop normative claims that are justified and that have real-world purchase. Methodology centres around an iterative process of empirical research and theory being used to influence and change each other until a normative outcome is shaped by participants
Moral conversation A dialogical approach coming from the same theoretical standpoint as above. Intended to bring about focussed engagement and reflection within practice by forming a dialogue between stakeholders
Moral participation Again, from the same theoretical standpoint as above. The researcher actively experiences a situation and then undergoes a process of critical reflection which must stand up to ethical reasoning
32 Rehmann-Sutter C, Porz R, Leach Scully J. How to Relate the Empirical to the Normative. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2012, 21(4):436–447. Phenomenological Hermeneutics The researcher produces ethical arguments which, on phenomenological foundations, the data provides the conditions to evaluate. Involves hermeneutic ‘circles’- including whether the future ‘reader’ of any conclusion made will consider their findings to have any normative authority
33 Ives J. A method of reflexive balancing in a pragmatic, interdisciplinary and reflexive bioethics. Bioethics 2014. 28(6):302–312. Reflexive Balancing Although utilising the concept of coherence this methodology is distinct from reflective equilibrium in that it gives initial weighting to certain ‘boundary’ principles with which coherence is sought but which must then justify their own inclusion. This is likened to a ‘null hypothesis’ which must be proven or disproven. An explicitly pragmatic process, relying on a naturalistic ethics that focuses on achieving a defensible compromise in genuinely dilemmatic situations.