Theory - Practice - Ethics: Is there a Gap? A Unique Concept to Reflect on
This editorial introduces a new paradigm called the “theorypractice- ethics gap”. It also informs the reader of the current healthcare dilemmas related to medical errors which place a patient’s safety at risk. The dilemma is essentially one of noncompliance or unethical practices by healthcare professionals. Typically, the healthcare academics declare that when clinical practice is inadequate, a “theory-practice gap” is usually responsible. Within this model there is often a gap between theoretical knowledge and its application in practice. Most of the evidence relating to the non-integration of theory and practice makes the assumption that environmental factors are responsible and will affect learning and practice outcomes, hence the "gap". However, it is the author's belief, that to "bridge the gap" between theory and practice an additional component must be considered, called “Ethics”. This introduces a new concept which the author refers to as the “theory-practice-ethics gap” and must be considered when reviewing some of the unacceptable outcomes as a result of medical errors in healthcare practice.