Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Culturally Competent Care

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics has a major research focus on culturally competent care; that is, health care that is sensitive to the differing values and needs of cultural subgroups within our pluralistic society. This section of our Web site provides articles, cases, and commentary emerging from this research.

This project required the development of a unique process of case writing and commentary. Center Bioethics Director Margaret R. McLean conceived of a process that begins in the relevant community by asking people to describe their health care encounters and ethical challenges. Personal interviews are conducted with health care professionals who work with non-majority cultures. On the basis of these interviews, case studies highlighting common and thorny issues are composed. The cases are then sent back to members of the relevant community for commentary. Finally, Center Program Specialist in Health Care Ethics Karen Peterson-Iyer writes an ethics commentary.