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Table 1 Types of SRs of normative literature/normative information

From: How to tackle the conundrum of quality appraisal in systematic reviews of normative literature/information? Analysing the problems of three possible strategies (translation of a German paper)

TypeExplanationsExamples in the literature
SRs of ethical conclusionsOnly the “all things considered” conclusions of ethically relevant arguments on a certain topic (e.g. on concealing the administration of drugs)[25, 31]
SRs of ethical argumentsEthically relevant arguments (or reasons) concerning a certain topic (e.g. whether post-trial access is a moral requirement in drug trials)[15, 17]
SRs of ethical issuesEthical issues to be considered, e.g. when treating medical conditions (e.g. dementia) or when using new technologies (e.g. assistive technologies for elderly patients)[33]
SRs of ethical conceptsEthically relevant definitions (e.g. “moral distress”) and concepts/approaches (e.g. “nursing ethics”)[16, 35]
SRs of ethical values/norms/principles/Values, norms and principles concerning certain possible courses of action and (clinical) fields of action (e.g. in plastic surgery)[36, 37]
SRs of ethical recommendationsRecommendations from guidelines, handouts, commentaries issued by ethics councils/ethics commissions etc. (e.g. on the question of whether underage persons can be living donors)[38, 39]