Falkenström, Erica & Anna T. Höglund | 2023
Journal of Health Organization and Management
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute knowledge on ethical issues and reasoning in expert
reports concerning healthcare governance, commissioned by the Swedish healthcare system.
Design/methodology/approach – An in-depth analysis of ethical issues and reasoning in 36 commissioned
expert reports was performed. Twenty-seven interviews with commissioners and producers of the reports were also carried out and analysed.
Findings – Some ethical issues were identified in the reports. But ethical reasoning was rarely evident. The
meaning of ethical concepts could be devalued and changed over time and thereby deviate from statutory
ethical goals and values. Several ethical issues of great concern for the Swedish public healthcare were also
Practical implications – The commissioner of expert reports needs to ensure that comprehensive ethical
considerations and ethical analysis are integrated in the expert reports.
Originality/value – Based on an extensive data material this paper reveals an ethical void in expert reports
on healthcare governance. By avoiding ethical issues there is a risk that the expert reports could bring about
reforms and control models that have ethically undesirable consequences for people and society.