Ethics Support and Consultation Services

The Office of Ethics provides both ethics support as well as more formal consultations upon request. When you call or page the Office of Ethics, an ethicist will speak with you to learn more about the nature of the conflict or dilemma and your concerns. Sometimes, the conflict or dilemma can be resolved or a path forward identified through conversation with the ethicist who may provide the caller and/or other involved parties with ethical principles that apply in the particular circumstances. The ethicist may also gather additional information and attend a meeting with clinicians to explore the ethical implications of the treatment options that are being offered and/or recommended. If an acceptable path forward cannot be agreed upon, an ethics consultation can be requested by parents (or other decision-makers), family members, the patient, or any health care provider. If such a request is made, a small ethics consultation team (2-4 individuals) meets with those involved (parents, clinicians, and the patient if appropriate) and then makes recommendations regarding ethically acceptable courses of action.The recommendations are shared with stakeholders. Under certain circumstances, a larger ethics consultation team may be responsible for the consultation.  Ethics consultations and recommendations are advisory only and final decision-making remains with the patient, parents (or other decision-makers) and the health care team.