From time to time, difficult or critical life questions may arise regarding the treatment of an individual patient. When staff members, the patient and/or the family cannot agree about the treatment, an Ethics Committee is available to help them reach a decision that is medically sound and respects the patient’s rights. The chairperson of the committee will decide if a meeting would be helpful. The Ethics Committee cannot force any treatment decision but is there to advise and promote discussion.
Any person may request that the Ethics Committee consider an ethical question regarding the treatment of an individual patient. To make this request you may contact the Chaplain, ask your doctor or nurse, or call the Medical Staff Office.
The Committee will:
- Act as a liaison between family and healthcare professionals to facilitate informed judgment that is consistent with sound medical principles, hospital policies and guidelines that respect patient rights and are ground in sound ethical principles.
- Consult and advise regarding ethical and moral issues, protection of patients’ rights and interests, development of treatment policies, education on ethical and moral patient care issues, and protection of the Hospital’s rights and interests.
- Not serve as a decision-making body or authority to dictate any treatment decisions but instead are limited to roles of advisor, facilitator of discussion and sounding board.
- Offer confidential case review and non-binding recommendations for clinical situations that present uncertainty or conflict regarding value-laden concerns in the treatment of a patient.
All meetings of the Ethics Committee are confidential.