Four Quadrants

As its name implies, the approach invites reflection on four quadrants, which should be worked through in order. These four quadrants guide the committee to attend to specific domains of ethical consideration:

Indications for medical intervention: What is the diagnosis? What are the options for treatment? What are the prognoses for each of the options?

Quality of life: Will the proposed treatment improve the patient’s quality of life?

Preferences of the patient: Does the patient have mental capacity or competence? If so, what do they want? If not, then what is in the patient’s best interests?

Contextual features: Do religious, cultural and legal factors have an impact on the decision?

We partner with the Institute of Medical Ethics (IME), an organisation which is dedicated to improving education and debate in medical ethics. Visit the IME website